I was reading an article in the New York Times this past Sunday, an NFL player taking the lead in advocating for women against any type of abuse. The article immediately caught my eye because women still face so much oppression not just in their homes but in our society overall. Here is an excerpt from his interview
Growing up in locker rooms is a very unusual work environment- a small space and 100% male. Locker to locker, the setting is marinated in machismo, with a lineup of employees celebrated for their toughness. ” We play a rough game on TV and people see us and say, Man, look at that dude. That’s a guy right there!”
He went on to say “There would be jokes or something denigrating to women.” It would be the kind of thing that would never be said to a woman, but since it was all men, it was O.K.”
It was not O.K. with this man anymore and he had a specific reason. His then girlfriend ( now wife) sat him down and revealed something she had kept hidden. She explained to him that she had been physically and emotionally abused by her father from the age of 9 until she was 15. “It was very serious abuse, she says.” Her revelation was a thunderbolt to her soon to be husband. He now raises awareness of domestic abuse and has become an advocate for women as a whole. He said his wife’s story changed his entire outlook. He said men overall need to stand up to other men and hold other’s accountable who demean and hurt women in any form.
They, like I and many others are trying to shed light and bring awareness to abuse. Most often, people who have been abused or are abusing others, feel deep shame and then no one wants to talk about it. It’s a shameful secret that they carry with them all the time. I have witnessed firsthand women being blamed by other women for the abuse. We have to figure out a way to start creating a safe environment for both men and women so we can start beating the odds. Sometimes something so hard to reveal can end of having the most positive impact because it doesn’t just start with you. It encourages others to come forward and have a voice. It takes deep courage to speak out.
Here are some updated statistics that I pray you will read and let resonate within you….
What is Domestic Violence?
- Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.
- Other terms for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence.
Who is Most Likely to Suffer from Domestic Abuse or Become a Victim of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.
- Women and men can be victims of domestic violence.
How Many Men are Domestic Violence Victims?
- Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults in the USA.
How Often Does Domestic Violence Occur?
- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
Why Does Domestic Abuse Happen?
- No victim is to blame for any occurrence of domestic abuse or violence.
- While there is no direct cause or explanation why domestic violence happens, it is caused by the abuser or perpetrator.
When and Where Does Domestic Violence Occur?
- Domestic violence is most likely to take place between 6 pm and 6 am.
- More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.
What Happens to Victims of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- At least 1/3 of the families using New York City’s family shelter system are homeless due to domestic violence.
Domestic Violence in America: General Statistics and Facts
- Women ages 18 to 34 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
- More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.
- In 2 out of 3 female homicide cases, females are killed by a family member or intimate partner.
What are the Effects of Domestic Violence on Children?
- More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.
- Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
- Children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
- Children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.
What are the Effects of Domestic Violence on Mental Health?
- Domestic violence victims face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.
- Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors including chronic conditions such as heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders.
- Most women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence were socially isolated and had few social and financial resources.
What is the Economic Cost of Domestic Violence?
- Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.
What Happens if Domestic Violence Victims Do Not Receive Help?
- Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
- Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.
#1 FACT: Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.
Help change the facts. Speak up, speak out, and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.
1 Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. (NLT)
We should be striving to treat all of our relationships with the utmost care. We are called to love.