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STATISTICS SHOW ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Across the United States, including New York, conflict impacts far more families and couples than most of us realize. Most domestic violence cases involve people in intimate relationships, usually as partners or married couples. But often, other family members can be drawn into domestic conflict. The majority of cases draw little public attention, but when high-profile individuals are involved or victims sustain serious or fatal injuries, the subject of domestic assault and violence gets widespread but often only fleeting attention.

Generally, anyone can be a victim of domestic assault, regardless of income, sexual orientation, gender, race or ethnicity. Statistics show that one in every four women is likely to experience domestic violence in her lifetime. This includes an estimated four million rapes and physical assaults by intimate partners. Women between 20 and 24 are at the highest risk of domestic violence. Men, however, are not exempt from being victims also. They endure an estimated three million physical assaults each year. One notable contrast with women, though, is that men are less likely to be killed by their intimate partners.

Beyond the immediate damage to victims, domestic violence greatly affects the growth and development of children. Every year, some three million children witness domestic assault in their homes. These children are more likely to suffer from neglect and a variety of abuses and, as one 2005 study reported, they often suffer from an array of health problems, including chronic fatigue.

It is important for victims of domestic violence and concerned citizens to report incidents. By doing so, they can prevent future incidents of domestic violence that endanger their own and others' lives. Victims of domestic violence can also seek restraining orders to keep their abusers away from them, with police then having the legal support needed to make arrests for violations.

Source: Safehorizon.org, "Domestic violence: statistics & facts," accessed on Aug. 17, 2014

Source: Safehorizon.org, "Domestic violence: statistics & facts," accessed on Aug. 17, 2014

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