October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Facts & Resources

Forgive the departure from ZannaLand’s typical upbeat theme park-related posts, but I felt this was an important topic to spread awareness about. October is well-known as Breast Cancer Awareness month but it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an issue which affects 1 in 4 women in her lifetime. Unfortunately that means we probably all know someone close to us affected by domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

A friend and colleague let me know about her efforts to raise awareness through Harbor House, a central Florida area domestic violence shelter and prevention center.

Here in central Florida domestic violence is at an all time high, even though every other criminal statistic has dropped.  In the past year alone, more than 30 people have died as a result of domestic abuse.  The most recent was a 7 month old baby killed last week by his father.  The mother has been arrested for child neglect for being unable to protect her child from their abuser.  If you click on this post, you’ll get a better feel for why protecting your child can become a considerable challenge when you’re unable to even protect yourself.  The blogger – Laura Williams – also offers some terrific insight as to why women are challenged to leave an abusive relationship in the first place.

I know I have many central Floridians reading my site but for those non-locals, here is a list of shelters/organizations across the state and the national Domestic Violence Hotline site.

Please take a moment to read some more facts about domestic violence courtesy of Harbor House:

  • About 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Boys who see domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners.
  • 30% to 60% of batterers also abuse children in the household.
  • About 1/3 of female homicide victims are killed by their partner.
  • In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, the woman was abused before the murder.
  • Less than 1/5 of victims reporting an injury from their partner seek medical treatment.
  • More than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year stem from domestic violence.
  • One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men has experienced an attempted or completed rape.
  • Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in about 40-45% of battering relationships.
  • 81% of women stalked by a current or former partner are physically assaulted by them.
  • 31% of women stalked by a current or former partner are sexually assaulted by them.
  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year.
  • $4.1 billion goes to direct medical and mental health services for victims every year.
  • Victims of intimate partner violence lose almost 8 million days of paid work a year.
  • Only 25% of all physical assaults by intimate partners are reported to police.
  • Only 20% of all rapes by intimate partners are reported to police.
  • Only 50% of all stalkings by intimate partners are reported to the police.
  • One-half of injunctions obtained by women who were physically assaulted are violated.
  • Over two-thirds of injunctions against partners who raped or stalked are violated.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States.
  • 32% of battered women report their children had hurt or killed animals.
  • 68% of battered women report violence towards their animals.
  • 13% of intentional animal abuse cases involve domestic violence.
  • 25% – 40% of battered women do not leave because of pets and livestock.
  • Disturbed children kill or harm pets to copy their parents’ conduct or prevent the abuser from killing the pet.
  • In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes.
  • Investigation of animal abuse is often the first point of social services intervention for a family in trouble.
  • Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house
  • Animal abuse is often a tool used by batterers to emotionally control or coerce victims.
  • 32% of battered women report their children had hurt or killed animals.
  • 68% of battered women report violence towards their animals.
  • 13% of intentional animal abuse cases involve domestic violence.
  • 25% – 40% of battered women do not leave because of pets and livestock.
  • Disturbed children kill or harm pets to copy their parents’ conduct or prevent the abuser from killing the pet.
  • In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes.
  • Investigation of animal abuse is often the first point of social services intervention for a family in trouble.
  • Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house
  • Animal abuse is often a tool used by batterers to emotionally control or coerce victims.

Thank you for taking the time to read about this important issue – please pass it along to help raise awareness. If you have a blog and would like to use the banner in this post on your site, please feel free to do so. Donate funds or time if you are able. If you are currently a victim of domestic violence, please click any of the links above and get help now. There is hope.





About Suzannah Mitchell

Boston girl living and blogging in Walt Disney World's backyard. Mom of 3, coffee addict, oh and Princess of course!