While our country is being held hostage by our ineffective congress, we are still at war, teachers are still trying to teach our children, and people are hungry and homeless and women continue to be beaten and abused. They are physically beaten, broken and burned. They are still suffering from mental abuse and emotional abuse. So while almost everyone is talking and writing about the government I feel I must speak out for the women who are still and will in the future, be battered.
Statistics differ from one country to another country and between states here In America. The FBI keeps statistics on abused women and men. 5% of men are abused. Sadly, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That means you know someone who has been beaten at least once. An estimated 1.3 million women are abused or physically assaulted each year by an intimate partner. 73 % of family violence victimizes women. The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $ 5,8 billion each year. $4,1 billion of which goes to direct services and mental health services. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
In the seventies, I helped to start a shelter for battered women and children. I have seen the injuries, photographed injuries before taking women to the ER. I have listened to the stories of frightened and terrified women. I have represented them in court. I have held crying and sometimes bleeding children. I have held them when they woke up screaming in the night. I have worked in Domestic Violence in two states.
Money is always a problem in providing services to abused women. Funding a shelter is always a problem and a urgent need that must be met. Part of funding comes from marriage license fees. These are population based and rural areas suffer due to smaller populations. So when the United Way asks for funding during their campaign, you can donate and earmark your donation for your local domestic violence shelter. They will also need your old bedding and towels and kitchen supplies. Clothes that women can wear to a job interview are also helpful. All of this is a charitable deduction on your taxes. Just ask for a receipt.
To receive more information, please call 1-800-934-0840 if you live in Ohio. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-safe. This hotline is called NCADV, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE.
Our conversation about battering is not done. But I hope that if you know of someone who is being abused or you think it might be what is happening, you will give these phone numbers to them. Talk to them. Tell them they are not alone and many many people care about what is happening to them.