October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence is an issue that knows no racial, cultural, gender or socioeconomic boundaries. Chances are, we all know someone whose life has been effected by domestic violence. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. The purpose of DVAM is to mourn those who have died as a result of domestic violence, celebrate survivors, and connect those working to end domestic violence.

Here are some statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:


  • Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten
  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries


  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime
  • Almost half of female (46.7%) and male (44.9%) victims of rape in the United States were raped by an acquaintance.
  • Of these, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner


19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.1 60.8% of female stalking victims and 43.5% men reported being stalked by a current or former intimate partner


A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders
72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female


1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence


  • Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year
  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year
  • Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse
  • Between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser, 78% of women killed in the workplace during this timeframe


Women abused by their intimate partners are more vulnerable to contracting HIV or other STI’s due to forced intercourse or prolonged exposure to stress

Studies suggest that there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior.7
Physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health effects have been linked with intimate partner violence including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy in general, miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine hemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to one of our excellent local resources:

Penelope House (Mobile County)
24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 251-342-8994

The Lighthouse (Baldwin County)
24 Crisis Hotline: 251-947-6008 or 800-650-6522

Penelope House has a number of events scheduled for DVAM. Coming up on October 26th, if you dine at Five Guys Burgers on Airport Boulevard, a portion of all sales will be donated to Penelope House. See their website for more information on events.