Violence against women is a critical public health concern, that has both devastating physical and emotional abuse for all involved. Many women are abused mentally, physically, and sexually by partners and strangers. Domestic violence during the last twenty years has been acknowledged as a huge growing concern within our own communities to work on finding ways to stop the violence.
One report estimated that more than 2.5 million women experience some form of violence each year. Furthermore, two out of three women are and have been attacked by a family member or someone they are acquainted with.
Domestic violence has been framed and understood as only a women issue, that it does not happen to men. Today, domestic violence is no longer looked at that way. In January 1995, under an amended section of the California penal code lesbian and gay relationships were granted recognition as victims of domestic violence and were able to have a venue to seek help.
Spousal abuse is now a problem that affects our communities, courts, hospitals, and now our morgues as the abuse is leading to more violent measures: death.
Domestic violence is when spouses, intimate partners, or dates use physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control the behavior, thoughts, or actions of their partners. Physical violence is putting your hands on another person against their will. It also includes shoving, grabbing, pushing, pulling, or forcing someone to stay somewhere. Using any form of physical violence is a crime. .
Few people identify themselves as being an abuser or victim. They remain silent because of the chaos that domestic violence has created in not only their family lives but in the work place. Victims stay silent about the abuse because of embarrassment, shame, and/or fear that their batters will hurt them if they talk about the violence with others. Abusers minimize their actions by blaming the victims for provoking the violence.