Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

October 3, 2012

Being aware of domestic violence

VALDOSTA — October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, focusing attention on an issue that affects millions each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitor violence just as they do other causes of death and injury, and the statistics on intimate partner violence is frightening.

According to the CDC:

• 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime; 1 in 71 men will be raped in their lifetime.

• 1 in 6 women have been stalked in their lifetime; 1 in 19 men have been stalked in their lifetime.

• 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.

• Approximately 80 percent of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half experienced their first rape before age 18; 30 percent between 11 and 17 years old and 12 percent at or before the age of 10.

• About 35 percent of women, who were raped as minors, were also raped as adults compared to 14 percent of women without an early rape history.

• About 28 percent of male victims of rape were first raped when they were 10 or younger.

Considering the lifelong impacts of the cycle of violence, the disproportionate victimization of females and young children, and the long-term effects on health, safety and family status, the issue of domestic abuse is one that touches everyone.

Being aware of the statistics is not enough. As a society, there needs to be a much greater effort to not only prevent intimate physical and sexual violence but to keep it from being considered normal, mainstream, or acceptable in any way. It is not now nor should it ever be considered OK to victimize another individual, particularly one in your own home.

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