As we get to the end of October and the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I want to point to some information that may be of use and that, without question, we should all be aware of. First, via Josh Sugarman reporting on the Violence Policy Center’s annual report When Men Murder Women,
Nationwide, in 2008, there were 1,817 females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents that were submitted to the FBI for its Supplementary Homicide Report. Key findings from the report dispel many of the myths regarding the nature of lethal violence against women:
- For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 92 percent of female victims (1,564 out of 1,694) were murdered by someone they knew.
- Twelve times as many females were murdered by a male they knew (1,564 victims) than were killed by male strangers (130 victims). For victims who knew their offenders, 64 percent (997) of female homicide victims were wives or intimate acquaintances of their killers.
- There were 278 women shot and killed by either their husband or intimate acquaintance during the course of an argument.
- Nationwide, for homicides in which the weapon could be determined (1,662), more female homicides were committed with firearms (52 percent) than with any other weapon. Knives and other cutting instruments accounted for 21 percent of all female murders, bodily force 15 percent, and murder by blunt object seven percent. Of the homicides committed with firearms, 71 percent were committed with handguns.
- In 86 percent of all incidents where the circumstances could be determined, homicides were not related to the commission of any other felony, such as rape or robbery.
And for what it’s worth, the most dangerous state for women? It would seem that in Nevada, women, never mind the casinos, women are gambling with their lives by even being there.
And via the National Women’s Law Center, this horrific reality that women have to face when deciding what to do when they are trying to escape a violent situation:
Did you know that many shelters for battered women will not allow male children (sometimes as young as eight) to stay with their mothers? So a woman is left with three options: 1. Don’t use the shelter and continue parenting while in an abusive home situation; 2. Use the shelter to escape the abusive home and leave her son with the abusive parent; or 3. Identify another source of housing that doesn’t provide the additional security or support provided by the shelter, but allows her to stay with her son.
And finally, a coalition of organizations have put together the Workplaces Respond website which addresses domestic and sexual violence in the workplace. The website has some very substantive tools to help address these issues as well as an excellent primer about this issue including these staggering facts:
- Women are much more likely than men to be victims of on-the-job intimate partner homicide. Spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends and ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends were responsible for the on-the-job deaths of 321 women and 38 men from 1997-2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totaled $5.8 billion each year for direct medical and mental health care services and lost productivity from paid work and household chores. Of this, total productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion in the United States in 1995. When updated to 2003 dollars, the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking is more than $8.3 billion. And in 2010 dollars, it would be considerably more. Much of these costs are paid for by the employer.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence is $727.8 million (in 1995 dollars), with more than 7.9 million paid workdays – the equivalent of more than 32,000 full time jobs – lost each year.
Much like being aware of breast cancer, being aware of domestic violence seems really quite inadequate. Perhaps next year we can observe Domestic Violence Eradication Month and Breast Cancer Eradication Month.