Mother holding young daughter, both are smilingDomestic Violence Facts

Domestic violence is NEVER a survivor’s fault.

Domestic violence is always a deliberate choice made by an abuser to control their partner. It is never cause by a survivor’s behavior or actions.

Domestic violence affects people of all genders.

Domestic violence affects people of all ages, sexes, cultures, religions, professions, and income levels. More than 1 in 4 women and more than 1 in 9 men have experienced sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner that causing serious mental or physical harm.1

Domestic violence exists in all types of communities.

Domestic violence occurs among all types of families, regardless of income, religion, ethnicity, educational level, or race. While low-income people are over-represented in calls to police, shelters, and social services, this may be due to a lack of other resources at their disposal.

Domestic violence incidents are not isolated occurrences.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior aimed at gaining and maintaining power and control over an intimate partner. The pattern is often described as a cycle. However, because the seriousness of abuse often escalates with each episode, many survivors describe the pattern as a spiral.

It can be hard for survivors to leave.

Leaving can end the violence. When it doesn’t, the violence may become worse. Nearly half of women murdered by men in the U.S. had left or were trying to leave an abusive relationship.2 This is a powerful deterrent to leaving. Abuse may also leave survivors financially dependent upon their abuser and isolated from friends and family who could offer help and support. Learn more about why people stay.

Domestic violence isn’t just physical.

While many abusers physically abuse their partners, many don’t. Instead they may control their partners by abusing them emotionally, financially, or sexually. Learn more about what is domestic violence and different types of abuse.

Drug and alcohol use do not cause domestic violence.

While drugs and alcohol are often present in domestic violence situations, they do not cause of violence. However, the presence of drugs and/or alcohol can make a domestic violence situation become much worse.

Mental illness does not cause domestic violence.

Many people suffer from mental health challenges, but few of them abuse their partners. Even if someone has a mental illness it is neither the cause of nor an excuse for domestic violence.