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Who does domestic violence and abuse

happen to?

Gender. Although some stereotypes portray abuse as only happening

to a woman at the hands of a man, this is not always the case. Not
only can women be abusers and men abused, abuse also occurs in
same sex relationships with men or women acting as both abuser

and victim. The type of abuse does tend to vary based on gender and
women are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed by men

Relationship. Although "domestic violence" infers a domestic

component (i.e. occurring inside a home) the more appropriate label

of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) indicates that this is a type of
abuse which happens between people involved in an intimate
relationship, including dating relationships.

Socioeconomic Status. Although some people believe that abuse

happens less often to the wealthy, this is not the case. Abuse happens
to the rich and poor (and everybody in between). A key distinction is
that when abuse happens with wealthy people they are more likely
to have lawyers and therapists involved. This allows them to keep

the abuse more private than those who have to instead involve the

police and the court system, leading the public to mistakenly believe
that abuse does not happen to the wealthy.

Education. Although some believe that abuse only happens to

"those" people - meaning the uneducated that don't know any better

- this is absolutely not true; abusive relationships occur between the

highly educated as well those who are still in school (it is

unfortunately not uncommon between middle school students). In

fact, by the time students have graduated from college 44% of them

will have been in an abusive relationship (remember, these are

college graduates).

Sexual Orientation. Although some people mistakenly believe that

same sex relationships are more likely (or less likely) to be abusive,
both types of relationships are generally equal when it comes to

abuse (within 5 - 10%). In cultures where same sex relationships are

more private then abuse is less likely to be reported - but that does

not mean that the abuse is not happening - just that involving police
or the court system might be an impediment to seeking help.

Race. Although there are some differences, abuse happens to all

races in the United States and according to the NIH in 2012: "The

odds of victimization for Blacks and Latinos were not significantly

different from Whites." Among some minorities there might be fewer

reports of abuse but that does not mean that abuse is not happening.

For example, people in the U.S. illegally might fear calling the police;
as a result it might appear that abuse is less frequent. Also, some
immigrant communities might wish to avoid public scrutiny and
prefer handling abuse within their community.

Age. Although IPV happens at all ages, the young are more likely to
be both victims as well as perpetrators of abuse.

Domestic violence covers all areas of society from poor to rich, it is found in
every nation of the world. Each nation struggles with ways of defining and

measuring it, but it is there nonetheless. It is found in homosexual relation-

ships, heterosexual relationships, married relationships, unmarried relation-

ships. Abuse happens to women by men, to men by women, to men by men and
women by women, no one gets a free ticket exemption.

Certainly the self-willed and strongest of us are the least likely to be taken,
but not always. Leslie Morgan Steiner has some good views on the subject.
Domestic Violence:

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an

intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to
more than 10 million women and men.

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.