Side Of Romance
To Know About
by Jan Pitts
I used to be naïve enough to believe that domestic violence mainly existed in relationships where two people were married to each other. The whole marriage piece helped explain why a woman would stay in a relationship where she was being physically abused. For me, marriage dictated other compelling factors that kept her there such as, children, money, property…none of which I could relate to.
However, I have since learned that there are many single women suffering silently in abusive relationships and no one really knows about it. I discovered this when I recently attended a women’s conference and one of the speakers spontaneously called for those in the room who had suffered physical abuse in non-marital relationships to stand. I was shocked when at least half of the women in the room stood, including my best friend who was sitting next to me. It turned out she had been in an abusive relationship for over two years and had been too embarrassed to talk about it.
Later over dinner, I learned her boyfriend, who everyone considered a nice guy, was abusing her sexually and physically behind closed doors. She admitted to being too scared to end the relationship because she was afraid he would kill her.
Several years ago, a neighbor broke it off with an abusive boyfriend after six months of dating. He waited for her in the parking lot where she worked and shot her to death in front of her co-workers. I had an ex-boyfriend to stalk me, but he left me alone after I had my two burly policeman cousins to pay him a visit.
When I decided to do a story on the subject of domestic violence among singles, I discovered 10 interesting facts.
- Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Too often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
- Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
- Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
- Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
- Domestic violence crosses all class, cultures, religion and age categories.
- Studies show that one in three American women have been physically sexually abused by a husband or a boyfriend at some point in their lives. According to FBI files, in one year, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husband or boyfriends.
- There are many reasons why women don’t leave abusive relationships. According to The US Department of Justice, leaving can be dangerous and it has been found that the most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave the relationship.
- Stalking is more prevalent today than ever according to national police reports.