The best reasons to learn more about domestic violence, it seems to me, come from a quick overview of some recent statistics from Domestic Violence Statistics (linked below). A look at just a few of them will probably give you all the reasons you need.
First, domestic violence is a significant problem because it is so pervasive and ongoing.
Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
That, of course, is just the American number. Add to that the number of women worldwide who are the victims of domestic violence, and the problem multiplies exponentially. If another, perhaps more visible or "fashionable" negative problem were happening with this kind of frequency, we would be hearing about it from every part of the media. As it is, this is a rather "hidden" issue, in part because most women do not speak out until the end of an abusive situation.
Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
Often these victims do no speak up to avoid damaging someone close to them. Their shame is increased because society does not know enough about the issue of domestic violence.
Second, domestic violence is dangerous.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
Look at the list. We care about accidents, we care about muggings, and we certainly care about rapes, yet the greatest cause of injuries to women is shrouded in silence. Even worse is this statistic:
Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
While all murder is horrible, being violently killed by a loved one is especially unacceptable in our society--or at least that is what we claim to believe. Again, we cannot be outraged enough to act unless we know, and these statistics are rarely seen.
Third, domestic violence does not just affect the one who is being abused; this heinous act has an impact on children, as well.
Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Society may be rather careless about the adult victims of domestic violence, somehow thinking that these women are to blame because they do not leave their abusive situations; however, society does claim to care about children. Learning that so many innocent children are being impacted, perhaps for life, by domestic violence may move some people to action.
The same is true for teenage girls:
Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
Fourth, domestic violence impacts the economy, causing women to lose 8 million days of paid work (equal to 32,000 full-time jobs) a year.
Fifth, if we learn what to look for, perhaps we can recognize the signs in those we know and love and can then help them escape their abuse.
Hearing promotes learning, learning promotes knowledge, knowledge promotes compassion or righteous anger, and these two things promote action. In order for society to change, it has to learn. While it is true that most Americans would say that domestic violence is a terrible thing, the "someone should do something to help these women" attitude is prevalent. Not all, of course, but most simply do not have this issue anywhere near their social issues radar. Until they learn, nothing will change. Teach them.
It's important to understand domestic violence because it affects so many people every day. If you know what to look for in victims, you could possibly save someone's life. Also, some people experience domestic violence daily, but are not aware that what is happening to them is wrong.
Domestic violence can happen to both women, and men, which is another thing that many people either don't know or fail to understand. By doing research on the topic, you can help others begin to understand how dangerous and harmful it is to be with an abusive partner.
By researching and understanding domestic violence, you are one step closer to saving yourself or even someone else from being seriously injured due to domestic violence.