More than physical: How to identify different forms of domestic violence

When you think you know someone experiencing abuse, how can you help? First and foremost, be a present listener. Do not try to “fix” the victims’ problems. Your responses will not be their responses. Encourage them to reach out for help. Be prepared to offer phone numbers. Let the person know you are concerned for their safety. Offer suggestions without being judgmental. Again, be a present listener. Also, be aware acts of domestic violence are not always physical and not always immediately recognizable. Abusers can start to control their victims slowly and subtly and, by the time victims realize they are in...

Every 3 Seconds: An Overview of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is, to put it plainly, a huge problem in America. How huge? In the U.S., 20 people are abused by a partner every minute. That’s one case of abuse every three seconds.  1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men experience violence by their partners in their lifetimes. Domestic violence and its effects cost the U.S. more than $8.3 billion per year. Chicago’s Domestic Violence Help Line receives over 500 calls a day, and 44 percent of the violent-crime admissions to Cook County Jail are related to domestic violence.  In light of this enormous human toll—and the economic, social...

Children and Domestic Violence

“Families under stress produce children under stress. Children under stress who do not receive help become adults under stress.” - Robert Ackerman   When we talk about domestic violence at all, we tend to talk about it in terms of adult relationships—of spouses, of partners, of women and men. We too often overlook the effects—short- and long-term—that domestic violence has on children: 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence every year. 90 percent of these children are eyewitnesses to the abuse. 40 percent of child abuse victims also report being exposed to domestic violence. In 2013, most victim callers to Chicago’s Domestic...

Sexual Assault on College Campuses

“Sexual assault is a serious problem on college campuses, and it is important that rape victims feel comfortable stepping forward. It saddens us to think that their willingness to do so might be diminished by our failings.” - Will Dana, Managing Editor of Rolling Stone   When Rolling Stone magazine, in the wake of withering criticism from Columbia School of Journalism, retracted its story on an alleged rape at the University of Virginia, it was seen as a serious blow against an already disproportionately vulnerable group: college survivors of sexual assault. 34 percent of completed rapes and 45 percent of attempted rapes take...

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