Domestic Violence in the United States

Domestic Violence in the United States

Domestic violence in the United States is increasing. Each minute approximately 24 people in the U.S. are abused by someone they know.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 12.7 million Americans are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners in a single year. It can happen to anyone: married, dating, gay, straight and people of all ages.

How do we define abuse?

DomesticViolence.org defines it as, “behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other.”

Examples of abuse include:

  • Stalking
  • Threats that attack the emotional, economic or physical well-being of another
  • Actual physical harm
  • Using intimidation to isolate someone from friends, family or a job
  • Sexual assault
  • Verbal put-downs

Cycle of Violence

It never happens just once. Lenore Walker, author of The Battered Woman, helps us categorize the cycle into phases.

  • Phase One – The Incident: This is when the abuse happens. It can take any form; physical, emotional or sexual.
  • Phase Two – Making-Up: The abuser will apologize for the abuse, say it won’t happen again, blame the victim for causing their outburst, or deny that the incident happened the way the victim remembers it.
  • Phase Three – Calm: The abuser will return to the state of behavior before the abuse started. They may deny the abuse entirely.

Getting Help and Breaking the Abuse Cycle

Think you might be in an abusive relationship? 

Visit this link for a free Help Guide. This non-profit resource, offers a chart that breaks down the signs of an abusive relationship.

Need help with domestic abuse now? 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE

State Coalition List

The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women or call 1-888-7HELPLINE

Get More Information

The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Help Guide

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The No More Campaign 

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