Domestic violence and emotional abuse can occur in a number of different forms and is generally defined as “behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other.” This means that domestic violence encompasses more than just physical abuse, as violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial or any other tactic considered as “willful intimidation” that a partner may use in order to gain control of the victim.
According to the American Bar Association, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner in the US every year. Domestic violence is the primary killer of African American women ages 15 to 24, and it is estimated that anywhere between 3.3 million and 10 million children witness domestic violence annually. The effects of domestic violence are far-reaching and harm everyone involved, from the individuals suffering the abuse to their children, families, communities and beyond.
Domestic violence is rarely just an issue of physical safety. It is known that 56% of women that experience domestic violence in any form are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, 29% of all women who attempt suicide were battered and 45% experience post-traumatic stress disorder. The mental health of children who witness domestic violence, or are victims of abuse themselves, suffer immensely as well, developing emotional, behavioral and social issues resulting from intense feelings of insecurity.
Although women are the most common victims of domestic violence, victims can be of any background, varying in age, sex, race, religion or socio-economic or marital status. Domestic violence occurs in all types of relationships too, including amongst married, unmarried, heterosexual, gay or lesbian, dating, separated or live-in couples.
Domestic Violence Agencies
Domesticviolence.org is one of the nation’s leading agencies working with victims and survivors of domestic violence.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides a wealth of resources on the topic nationwide.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence advocates ending domestic violence once and for all.
Futures Without Violence emphasizes violence prevention measures.
Break the Cycle works to empower youth to end the cycle of dating violence.
Safe Place strives to end sexual and domestic violence through safety, healing, prevention and social change.
Domestic Violence Hotlines
Common Ground Sanctuary is a nonprofit crisis intervention agency with a 24 hour help line.
Haven is a sexual assault center located in Oakland, California and provides access to crisis support hotlines.
Domestic Violence Counseling and Mental Health Resources
GoodTherapy.org helps people find therapists for those in abusive relationships as well as survivors of abuse.
The National Center on Domestic Violence Trauma and Mental Health provides training, support and consultation to mental health providers, legal professionals and policy makers, making it a great educational resource.
Check out what the American Psychiatric Association has to say about domestic violence.
The US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health’s website is devoted to empowering women to lead healthier lives.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, provides a number of documents on health issues related to domestic violence.
The American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence.
The American Bar Association’s National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Directory.
The Women’s Law Initiative is a website devoted to educating women of their lawful rights and resources.
Safe Horizon is a victims’ service agency located in New York City. They can provide legal services such as advice, referrals and conflict resolution help.
The Battered Women’s Justice Project works to uphold accountability in cases of domestic violence and abuse.
The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project provides crisis intervention and resources for both victims and survivors of abuse.
The LAMBDA GLBT Community Services Anti-Violence Project.
The Northwest Network works to end violence and abuse within the LGBT community.
Survivor Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of intersex and trans survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Facts, Statistics and Forums on Domestic Violence
An overview of the signs of abuse and abusive relationships.
Learn about red flags and the cycle of domestic violence.
Domestic violence statistics from the American Bar Association.
Facts and statistics on domestic violence from the Safe at Work Coalition.
Read about the history of domestic violence.
Check out a discussion forum on domestic violence issues in popular culture.
Read all about the effects of domestic violence on children.
A domestic violence roundtable on how domestic violence affects children.