October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and many advocates are commenting on domestic violence issues using the hashtag #domesticviolenceawarenessmonth. If you'd like to join the conversation, or learn a bit more about the problem of domestic violence, here are five key facts.
Domestic Violence is Common
1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men will experience some form of intimate partner violence in their lives. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 80 men will face severe violence.
Men are The Primary Perpetrators
Both men and women hit their partners, but women tend to deliver slaps and other nonthreatening injuries, while men are far more likely to inflict severe wounds. Though both men and women can be victims, there's no escaping the fact that men are the primary perpetrators, and women are the primary victims.
Victims are Often Stigmatized
People leaving domestic violence relationships are often blamed for their abuse, or treated as pariahs. Though this can happen to both men and women, men in particular are often ostracized for not conforming to masculine stereotypes of strength and aggression.
Leaving Can be Dangerous
Statistically speaking, a domestic violence victim is more likely to be killed by his or her partner in the two weeks after leaving than during any other time. While this doesn't mean leaving is impossible, it does mean it's difficult, so faulting a victim for not leaving is nothing but a form of victim blaming.
It's Never the Victim's Fault
It is never acceptable to hit another human being, no matter how they make you feel. It's even worse to severely injure someone you love. No one can “make” you hit them by being obnoxious or unfaithful or anything else. The person responsible for the abuse is the perpetrator, and the perpetrator only.