- What is Domestic Violence?
- Why is Domestic Violence a Public Health Problem?
- Vermont and National Data
Domestic violence can include any of the following types of behavior. Several types of behavior can occur together. Many of these behaviors do not rise to the level of “criminal”, but should still be taken seriously. Help is available for all victims.
- Psychological/emotional violence can include, but is not limited to, humiliating the victim, controlling what the victim can and cannot do, withholding information from the victim, deliberately doing something to make the victim feel diminished or embarrassed, isolating the victim from friends and family, and denying the victim access to money or other basic resources.
- Threats of physical or sexual violence include the use of words, gestures, weapons, or other means to communicate the intent to cause death, disability, injury, or physical harm.
- Stalking generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person’s property.
- Sexual violence is forcing a partner to take part in a sexual act when the partner does not or is not able to consent.
- Physical violence is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing death, disability, injury, or harm. Physical violence includes, but is not limited to: scratching, pushing, shoving, throwing, grabbing, biting, choking, shaking, slapping, punching, burning, use of a weapons, and use of restraints or one's body, size, or strength against another person.
Domestic violence can affect health in many ways. The longer the violence goes on, the more serious the effects.
- Men and women who experienced rape or stalking by any perpetrator or physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime are more likely to report frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty with sleeping, activity limitations, poor physical health and poor mental health than men and women who did not experience these forms of violence. Women who had experienced these forms of violence were also more likely to report having asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and diabetes than women who did not experience these forms of violence.
- Domestic violence can also be linked to harmful health behaviors as well. Women with a history of domestic violence are more likely to display behaviors that present further health risks. This includes substance abuse, unhealthy nutrition, high-risk sexual behaviors, and suicide.
- Growing up in a violent home may be a terrifying and traumatic experience that can affect every aspect of a child’s life, growth and development. However, research has shown that the non-abusing parent is often the strongest protective factor in the lives of children who are exposed to domestic violence.
- Children who have been exposed to a perpetrator of domestic violence in their home suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as bed-wetting or nightmares, and are at greater risk of having allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and flu.
- Children of mothers who experience prenatal physical domestic violence are at an increased risk of exhibiting aggressive, anxious, depressed or hyperactive behavior.
- Children who experience childhood trauma, including witnessing incidents of domestic violence, are at a greater risk of having serious adult health problems including tobacco use, substance abuse, obesity, cancer, heart disease, depression and a higher risk for unintended pregnancy.
Source: Futures Without Violence
- Consequences of Domestic Violence
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- An illustration of the Known and Suspected Consequences of Lifetime Experiences of Violence and Abuse
Academy on Violence and Abuse
Domestic violence is serious problem in the United States and in Vermont:
- More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
- In Vermont, 18% of women and 9% of men reported that an intimate partner had ever hit, slapped, pushed, kicked or physically hurt them in any way; 19% of Vermont women and 6% of men reported that an intimate partner had ever threatened them or made them feel unsafe in some way; and 15% of Vermont adults said an intimate partner had ever tried to control their daily activities.
2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
- 15% of Vermont adults reported that before the age of 18, their parents or adults in the home slapped, hit, kicked, punched or beat each other up, at least once.
2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)/Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
- 7% of high school students reported they were hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boy/girlfriend in the last 12 months.
2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey