Tamara Cagle | 4/21/2010, 3:19 p.m.
Domestic violence has been prevalent in countries around the world for years, and the only thing that has changed is its name. Domestic violence is also referred to as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, and intimate partner violence.
This is an issue that goes on everyday, however, not everyone realizes it. According to a study by the United States Department of Justice, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
Women ages 20 to 24 are the most likely to become victims of domestic abuse, which according to experts involves more than just physical abuse. There is also emotional abuse and the misuse of power or authority.
Contrary to what some people believe, domestic violence is not caused by drugs and/or alcohol; these substances instead make innate, seemingly dormant behaviors surface more aggressively. These behaviors come out, when an individual is under the influence.
Although it more often happens to women, domestic violence can even impact men. The Department of Justice reported that 835,000 men are victims of domestic violence annually; they are simply less likely to report it.
When we think of domestic violence, we typically just consider the two individuals involved, but the impact is much more far reaching. This is an issue that touches anybody and anything connected to the victim, including children.
The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported that 50 percent of men who abuse their partner also abuse their children.
Domestic violence doesn't just affect individuals and families directly; it also affects the economy. The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year and $4.1 billion of that is for direct medical and mental health services, according to the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work, because of the violence perpetuated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity.