Domestic Abuse Misconception #31: Domestic abuse just isn't that prevalent or that serious. I saved this one for last. Domestic abuse is incredibly widespread. A woman is twice as likely to be abused than to get breast cancer. One out of every four women is or has been in an abusive relationship. So if you are sitting in church and there are 100 women there, 25 women have or are experiencing or will experience domestic abuse.
Sure, you say, domestic abuse is bad and all but it doesn't get really bad very often, does it?
The fact of the matter is that domestic abuse can, and often does, turn deadly. The numbers are horrifying. One graphic I found, with numbers from the FBI, showed that between September 10, 2001 and June 6, 2012 11,766 women were murdered by husbands and boyfriends. This was more than the deaths during that time frame in the War on Terror (deaths on US soil (9/11), troops in Afghanistan, troops in Iraq) combined.
There are some truly terrifying statistics. Pregnant women are at much higher risk for homicide. The presence of a gun in domestic violence raises the risk of homicide 500%. Intimate partners are not the only ones in danger. Family members, friends, law enforcement, and even strangers have been killed along with the intended victim. And, as I shared in Misconception #8, 75% of homicides occur while the victim is seeking to leave the relationship or in the weeks or months after she has left.
Domestic abuse is a serious, serious problem and a life or death issue. Here is a link to more information on domestic abuse and homicides.
(Note: In all of my posts I use "he" for abuser and "she" for victim for simplicity and because, in the majority of cases, the abuser is male. But it can be the opposite with a female abuser. Dynamics of abuse can also happen in same sex relationships.)