Domestic Violence: Definition and Statistics

What is domestic violence and how frequently does it actually occur in Arizona?

Defining Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is all too common in modern society.  Domestic violence certainly includes physical or sexual abuse by a family member.  It may also include physical or emotional intimidation and bullying within a family unit.

While we generally think of domestic violence as being directed at women, it is frequently directed at children and in many instances, directed at men.  Domestic abuse takes place across all socioeconomic strata, ethnic, racial, and religious groups,  all levels of education and against people of all ages.  Either because of fear or the feeling that what happens within a family should stay within the family, domestic violence in many instances is a well-kept family secret.

Most often, it is part of a pattern of dominance and control. Domestic abuse tends to be self-perpetuating, that is, children that have either been abused or have witnessed abuse in the home are more likely to become an abuser later in life.

The Statistics Speak for Themselves

Since most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police, the statistics below actually may underestimate the scope of the problem.

Arizona Statistics

• Twenty-five percent of all women in Arizona have or will experience domestic violence
• Most domestic violence victims, 85 percent, are women
• Annually, an estimated 1.3 million women are abused by their intimate partners
• Domestic violence results in more than 18.5 million medical visits annually
• At least one child in Arizona witnesses domestic violence every 44 minutes
• As many as 60 percent of those who abuse intimate partners also abuse their children
• Witnessing violence is the strongest risk factor for a child becoming an abuser in adulthood
• Boys who see domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners later in life
• Victims of abuse in rural areas of Arizona and elsewhere do not have access to help

The national statistics for domestic abuse are even worse than those in Arizona. On average, for example, 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S., which equals more than 10 million people per year. On an average day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic abuse hot lines. The presence of a gun in a situation of domestic violence increases the risk of homicide by 500 %.

Domestic abuse in Arizona, across the country and around the world, tends to increase and in extreme cases results in serious injury and even death.

If you are presently a victim of domestic abuse in Arizona, do the wise thing to protect yourself and your family by  leaving immediately and finding a safe haven.  Report the abuse to the authorities, and feel free to contact Arizona  attorney  Mitchell Cohen at Cohen Family Law, 602-714-8898, for your free consultation.