Domestic Violence is a pattern of intentional coercive behavior used to establish and maintain power and control over an intimate partner, ex-partner or family member through fear or intimidation. Physical or sexual violence is often preceded by controlling behavior, which, oftentimes, the victim does not identify as abusive.

Domestic violence sweeps the entire population regardless of culture, race, occupation, income level and degree of physical or cognitive ability. Rural and urban women of all religious, ethnic, socio-economic and educational backgrounds, and of varying ages, physical abilities and lifestyles can be affected by domestic violence. It occurs at about the same rate in same sex relationships as in heterosexual relationships.

Abusers use psychological, emotional, financial, spiritual and sexual tactics to gain and maintain power and control over their victim.  An abuser’s pattern of coercive behavior may, but does not always, include physical violence.  Abuser’s coercive behaviors are intentional and deliberate and they do not indicate that he is out of control.  Abusers batter because they believe they have a right and entitlement to control their intimate partners.

Who are victims of batterers?

  • Around the world, at least 1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. (Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)
  • More than 1 in 3 women, and more than 1 in 4 men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence, and or/stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.  (CDC, 2011)

Most Victims are Women…

  • Women accounted for 85% of victimization by intimate partners in 2001. (BJS, 2003)
  • 84% of those seeking ER treatment for intentional injury by an intimate assailant are women. (BJS, 1998)
  • Male violence against women does much more damage than female violence against men; women are much more likely to be injured than men. (Strauss & Gelles, 1990)

In New York State…

  • 44% of adult female homicide victims were killed by their intimate partner, as opposed to 1.7% of all adult male homicide victims. (2010 Domestic Homicide Report, DCJS)
  • Perpetrators committed suicide after killing their intimate partner in 11% of the cases.  In each case, all victims were female and all perpetrators were male. (2010, DCJS)

No one is immune…

  • Domestic violence crosses ethnic, racial, age, national origin, religious and socioeconomic lines. (BOJ, 1995)
  • Domestic violence occurs at about the same rate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender relationships as in heterosexual relationships. (Zlotnik ’95, Duthu ‘96)
  • 50% of child witnesses are also abused by the violent parent. (Strauss & Gelles, 1990)