Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a national crisis that affects all cultural, religious, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds and poses a threat to the safety and security of victims and their families across the United States. Research shows that lacking financial knowledge and resources are the main reasons why victims of domestic violence return to or remain in relationships with their abusers. This type of abuse - called financial abuse - affects tens of thousands of women each year.

The statistics are staggering:

  • 1 in 4 women report experiencing domestic violence in their lifetimes.i 
  • Financial security is the number one predictor of whether or not a victim of domestic violence will get free and stay free from abuse.ii 
  • 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused each year as a result of domestic violence.iii  
  • All cultural, religious, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds are affected by domestic violence.iv  
  • Nearly 2.2 million people called local and national domestic violence hotlines in 2004.v 
  • More than 1.35 million people accessed domestic violence victim services in 2005.vi  
  • The 2009 Allstate Foundation National Poll revealed over 75% of Americans believe the recent economic downturn further strained domestic violence victims and survivors.
  • 67% of Americans believe the poor economy has caused an increase in domestic violence.vii 

Financial Abuse

Physical abuse is the type of domestic violence most commonly discussed.  But, economic abuse, using finances as a tool of power and control, happens just as frequently.

  • 74% of Americans personally know someone who is or has been abused.viii  However, 75% Americans also fail to connect domestic violence with economic abuse.ix

Approximately 6 out of 10 Americans strongly agree that the lack of money and a steady income is often a challenge faced by a survivor of domestic violence when leaving her/his abuser.  

National Impact

  • Over $5.8 billion each year is spent on health-related costs of domestic violence.xi
  • Nearly 8 million days of paid work each year is lost due to domestic violence issues—the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs.xii
  • 96% of domestic violence victims who are employed experience problems at work due to abuse.xiii
  • 33% of all police time is spent responding to domestic disturbance calls.xiv
  • 57% of cities cite domestic violence against women and children as the top cause of homelessness.xv

Find more domestic violence statistics at ClickToEmpower.org.

 


i The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice; U.S. Department of Justice – Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence; July 2000

ii Integrating Asset-Building Strategies into Domestic Violence Advocacy,” Clearinghouse Review, Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, July-August 2009 rpt. in Deborah K. Anderson & Daniel G. Saunders, “Leaving an Abusive Partner: An Empirical Review of Predictors, the Process of Leaving, and the Psychological Well-being,” 4 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 163 (2003); Ola W. Barnett, “Why Battered Women Do Not Leave: Part 1: External Inhibiting Factors Within Society, 1 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse” 343 (2000).

iii The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Costs of intimate partner violence against women in the United States; April 2003

iv National Domestic Violence Hotline; Fact sheet on Domestic Violence and Special Populations; ndvh.org/dvInfo.html#spec

v National Network to End Domestic Violence; Communities Across the Nation, Lack of Funding for Services for Abused Women and Children; 2004

vi National Network to End Domestic Violence; Communities Across the Nation; 2004

vii The Allstate Foundation “Crisis: Economics and Domestic Violence” poll, May 2009

viii Murphy Marketing Research, The Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, June 2006 

xiv The Allstate Foundation “Crisis: Economics and Domestic Violence” poll, May 2009

X Murphy Marketing Research, The Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, June 2006

vii The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Costs; April 2003

viii The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Costs; April 2003

ix American Institute on Domestic Violence; 2001

x National Center on Women & Family Law; Battered Women: The Facts; 1996 

xi The United States Conference of Mayors; A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities; December 1999