Texas Domestic Violence and The Battered Family
The serious increase of family domestic violence is becoming an epidemic in the Unites States.
Some Appalling facts:
- Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women: more than car accidents, mugging and rapes combined.
- 1 in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner while 1 in 7 men experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
- Approximately 15 million children have witnessed some form of domestic violence in the past year..
Texas Domestic Violence Statistics from the Texas Council on Family Violence:
- Texas generates the second highest call volume to the National Domestic Violence Hotline behind California.
- HHSC estimates that 1,130,164 Texas women were battered in 2008.
- 74% of all Texans have either themselves, a family member and/ or a friend experienced some form of domestic violence.
- 47% of all Texans report having personal experience at least one form of domestic violence, severe (physical or sexual), verbal or forced isolation from friends and family at some point in their lifetime.
But most important of all….
73% of all Texans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem in Texas and 60% believe that Texas does not do enough to help survivors and their families!
What are the warning signs of Domestic Violence and do you have any friends or family members showing some of these warning signs?
1. Multiple Injuries and Excuses: the victim has many bruises and elaborate stories about being clumsy to avoid embarrassment.
2. Frequent Absence from Work or School: Visible injury or bruising keeps the victim away from work or school. Also the victim may need to care for themselves, sleep or recuperate from the incident when the abuser is away.
3. Lack of Self- Esteem: Many victims feel they can’t make it alone or they are better off with the abuser as part of their life.
4. Personality Changes: A very outgoing person becoming quite and shy around their abuser. It is much easier to change habits around the abuser than to go through accusations that can escalate to physical violence.
5. Fear of Conflict: Many battered victim show a sense of powerlessness with their other relationships. They tend to get victimized with almost everyone around them. “An easy mark”!
6. Passive-Aggressive Behavior: Victims will many times say one thing and then express anger or frustration in an aggressive manner.
7. Self-Blame: If a person is taking all the blame for things that go wrong in their surrounding environment, this person is probably experiencing emotional abuse at home. An abuser excels in constantly telling the victim that he/she is always “wrong”.
8. Isolation and Control: Adults who are abused are often isolated. This isolation makes the abuser the center of the victim’s universe and purposefully limits the victim’s access to others for total control.
9. Stress-Related Problems: depression, frequent illness, chronic headaches, problems sleeping?
If you do have someone close to you having some of these problems and you suspect domestic violence, please try to get this person immediate help! Many times only a friend or family member can get the victim to go for help!
With Domestic Violence being one of the most chronically under-reported crimes in the United States, what can victims do to help themselves and other family members break free of this abuse?
The legal system can offer some protection from family violence through the use of a Protective Order. A Protective Order is a civil court order that is designed to restrain an abuser from continuing acts of violence and threatening, harassing, or stalking conduct. All victims of family violence are eligible for a Protective Order. A court shall render a protective order if it finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future. A victim’s testimony about family violence may be enough to obtain a protective order, without other documents such as police reports.
Statistics obtained from:
Texas Council on Family Violence
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence