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Quick Facts about DV:

  • One in four women will be abused by their partner at some point in their life
  • An estimated 1.3 million women experience domestic violence each year in the U.S.
  • One in six women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives
  • One in twelve women have been stalked in their lives
  • Only 14% of domestic violence incidents are ever reported to the police
  • In Philadelphia in 2006, there were 71,350 incidents of domestic abuse in which police were involved. If this represents only 14% of all domestic violence incidents, than the total number of incidents would be 509,642
  • Women who leave abusers are at a 75% greater chance of being killed by the abuser than those who stay.
    Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15-44
  • Between 30 and 60% of domestic violence perpetrators also abuse children in the household
  • Children witnessing domestic violence between parents or caregivers is the single strongest risk factor for participating in an abusive relationship as an adult, whether as victim or abuser
  • Domestic violence costs the U.S. over $5.8 billion each year in lost wages and medical costs

What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors by which a person seeks power and control over his or her intimate partner or ex-partner.

Domestic Violence can affect people of all races, income levels, religions, genders, sexual orientations and ages.  The effects of domestic violence can last long after the abuse has stopped.
Domestic violence is also sometimes referred to as intimate partner violence or dating abuse. Domestic violence can include emotional, sexual, economic, and physical abuse.

Myths About DV

MYTH: Domestic violence is not a serious problem among teenagers.
FACT: In one recent study, for students who had ever dated, 36% of the girls and 37% of the boys reported they had experienced physical violence in the dating relationship. (Molidor, C. &Tolman, R. (1998).“Gender and contextual factors in adolescent dating violence.” Violence Against Women, 4 (2), 180-194.)

MYTH: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is not a serious problem among same sex couples.
FACT: The existing statistical evidence indicates that intimate partner violence affects approximately one-quarter to one-half of all same-sex relationships… These rates are similar to estimates of abuse in heterosexual relationships (Murray, Mobley, Buford and Seaman-DeJohn, “Same-Sex Intimate Partner Violence: Dynamics, Social Context and Counseling Implications” Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, Vol 1(4) 2006/2007).

MYTH: It should be easy for a victim to leave his/her abusive partner.
FACT: There are many complicated reasons why it’s difficult for a person to leave an abusive partner. One very common reason is fear – women who leave abusers are at a 75% greater chance of being killed by the abuser than those who stay. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, 1995.)

MYTH: Children are not affected by living in a home with domestic violence.
FACT: 50% of men who abuse their wives also abuse their children. (Stacy, W. and Schupe, A., “The Family Secret”, Beacon Press, Boston, MA, 1983.) A child who lives in a family where there is violence between parents is 15 times more likely to be abused. (L. Bergman, “Dating violence among high school students,” Social Work 37 (1), 1992.)

MYTH: Domestic violence agencies only serve adult, heterosexual women.
FACT: Lutheran Settlement House’s Bilingual Domestic Violence Program serves any victim of domestic violence regardless of gender or sexual orientation: female, male, transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. We serve teenage victims of dating violence as well.

Duluth Child Abuse Wheel of Violence
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LGBT Wheel of Violence
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Power and Control wheel
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Power and Control wheel (Spanish)
Teen Power and Control wheel
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Teen Power and Control wheel (Spanish)

Hotline 1.866.SAFE.014 (723-3014)