To be very clear, while poor economic conditions in and of themselves don’t cause intimate violence, they do lead to feelings of being powerless and not in control of one’s own life and the root causes of intimate violence lie in the attempt to overpower and control an other. As a result, discouraging as they are, the following findings are not surprising:
Via press release:
Despite signs the economy may be recovering, domestic violence shelters throughout the United States report the economy’s negative impact still weighs heavy and domestic violence continues to increase.Â In addition to domestic violence incidents rising, the abuse is more severe, victims struggle to find jobs and shelters expect the situation will only get worse in light of the economy – according to the second “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” national survey.More than 700 domestic violence shelters across the country were surveyed in March 2010. Shelters indicate the economic downturn of the last 18 months has increased demand for their services, and also note their shelters’ ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered over the next 12 months.
Detailed findings from the 2010 “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” survey reveal alarming trends, including:
- 88 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation during the next 12 months will be worse than now, or the same as now, in light of the economy.
- Three out of four domestic violence shelters (77 percent) report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.
- 75 percent of shelters attribute this rise in abuse to “financial issues.”
- 54 percent of shelters link this increase in domestic violence to “job loss.”
- More than half (57 percent) of women in shelters can’t find employment due to the economy.
- 51 percent of shelters nationwide note the abuse is more violent now than before the economic downturn.
Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said: “The ‘Mary Kay Truth About Abuse’ survey confirms once again that the economy affects domestic violence and makes it clear that the situation is getting worse. Job loss, challenging employment searches, the foreclosure crisis and other economic factors are limiting escape options for survivors of abuse. The demand for domestic violence services continues to grow significantly, and we must increasingly support victims during this terrible time.”