Facts about Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that escalates in severity and danger over time. Domestic violence can include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse.
In 2011, law enforcement reports documented domestic and dating violence cases in the fifteen Northeast LA parishes over three times the national average (2,420 or 7.3 per 1,000 persons over age 12 vs 2.3 in U.S.)(Wellspring/FJC, 2012; BJS, 2007)
Domestic violence is a pervasive crime affecting millions of individuals across our nation regardless of age, economic status, race, religion or education. One in 4 women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime. (NIJ/CDC, 2000) Men are also victims of domestic violence, as are couples in same-sex relationships. (BJS, 2007)
Domestic violence not only severely impacts victims and their families, but also results in huge financial costs that affect our entire society.
Women are at an increased risk of harm shortly after separation from an abusive partner. A victim’s risk of getting killed greatly increases when in the process or shortly after leaving. On average, 4 women are killed by a current or former partner every day. (Violence Policy Center/FBI, 2011)
Children are particularly vulnerable as both victims and witnesses to domestic violence. Children exposed to violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs, and run away from home. Men exposed to domestic violence as children are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. (Strauss et al, 1990)
Louisiana law permits a law enforcement officer who has reason to believe that domestic abuse has occurred to use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, including immediate arrest.
There are six things you can do if you think someone you know is experiencing domestic violence:
1. Call the police if you see or hear violence in progress.
2. Learn about domestic violence services in your community like those provided by The Wellspring and Family Justice Center (info at wellspringalliance.org).
3. Give time, resources or money. Distribute domestic violence awareness materials at your workplace, school, or church. Arrange for informational and educational presentations or training for your church, civic, social and professional groups.
4. If you have a friend or co-worker who is afraid of his or her partner or who is being hurt, offer your support and refer them to The Wellspring.
5. Model a respectful attitude toward your spouse in your home, with your family, and in your workplace. Avoid behaviors that demean or control others.
6. Build support among your colleagues and neighbors that abusive behavior and language is not tolerated in your neighborhood.
For more info: visit any Wellspring office during regularly scheduled office hours or call (318) 323-1505 or 800-716-7233 anytime day or night.