Here's what a week without domestic violence would look like

Posted on October 23, 2019

From across the globe to right here in our own community, domestic violence is a longstanding and tragic reality. Imagining a world without domestic violence requires that we understand the magnitude of the problem in the first place.  

The World Health Organization reports that violence by an intimate partner is a common experience worldwide yet is grossly under-reported, as women are often wrongly held responsible for the abuse they receive.  

Domestic violence is linked to other social problems, including wars, lack of legal protections, poverty, inadequate health care and challenges to women’s rights of equality.

A week without domestic violence around the world would mean:

  • 487,500,000 women would not be subjected to domestic violence
  • 209,625,000 women would not report both physical and sexual violence
  • The children of 380,250,000 women would not see their mothers abused

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an act of domestic violence occurs every 15 seconds in the United States, with four women losing their lives daily. 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.  

Domestic violence disproportionately affects women as victims. A disturbing one in three women experience some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. From sexual violence and stalking to slapping, striking, and shoving, the physical and emotional abuse results in injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder and the increased use of victim services.

What would a week without domestic violence look like in America?

Women would not be 85% of all domestic violence victims. The more than 90% male perpetrators of domestic violence would not strike, stalk or murder their female significant others and their children. Women would not need domestic-violence hotlines, shelters, and emergency room visits.

A week without domestic violence in our country would mean 6,214 women would not experience battering during pregnancy; 9,682 women would not be stalked; more than $40 million would not be spent for medical and mental health care services.

If domestic violence were eradicated, women would not carry around the related shame and secrecy that further isolates them from their families, friends and society.

On the Treasure Coast, we’ve recently had solemn reminders of domestic violence:

A week without domestic violence may seem unattainable but, as a community, we can end domestic violence and violence against women by challenging attitudes and actions of those who attempt to exhibit control over another person.


On the Treasure Coast and in communities around the world, we can hold batterers accountable for their use of violence and break the cycle that perpetuates these behaviors. We can make a difference, one person at a time.  

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we urge you to recognize the serious threat posed by domestic violence in all of its forms. Be more aware of the signs of domestic violence in someone you know and love, and encourage them to contact SafeSpace for help by calling our 24-hour hotline at 772-288-7023 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233). 

Terri Lynn Hamrick is CEO of SafeSpace, a nonprofit organization that serves and supports victims of domestic violence in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.  


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