Today is Domestic Violence Prevention Day at the state Legislature, and I spent a few minutes this morning dropping by the booths (journalists love free pens!) and chatting with some folks from the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
While there, I picked up a handbook published by the Coalition called “For a Safer State of Family.” Even a quick scan of the booklet provides some pretty eye-popping statistics, which bear repeating here:
- -Nearly one in three women report having been kicked, hit, choked or otherwise physically abused by a spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.
- -Domestic violence accounts for 22 percent of the violent crimes experienced by women in the United States, and 3 percent of violent crimes against men.
- -Between 1976 and 1995, 34 percent of female murder victims and 6 percent of male murder victims in the United States were killed by people with whom they have an intimate relationship.
And domestic violence doesn’t stop with intimate partners:
- -Batterers are seven times more likely to physically abuse their children than men who are not batterers.
- -Batterers are six times more likely to sexually abuse their children than men who are not batterers.
- –Half the men — 50 percent — who frequently assault their wives also frequently assault their children, and the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect suggests that domestic violence may be the single major precursor to child abuse and neglect fatalities in the U.S.