If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, you need to make people aware of the damage it causes. In the U.S. alone, 20 people face physical abuse from a partner every minute. Understanding physical and emotional abuse plays a vital role in ending its cycle in Michigan.
Defining domestic violence
While many people think of physical abuse when defining domestic violence, that does not accurately describe the actions that qualify as domestic violence.
Domestic violence refers to any abuse committed by someone in a close relationship with the victim. This abuse may include:
- Physical violence
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
Perpetrators of domestic violence
Although you may associate domestic violence with intimate partner violence committed by husbands, they are not the only group of people who may act as perpetrators. Domestic violence also refers to violent or abusive acts committed by these groups of individuals:
- Spouses or former spouses
- Person living in the home with the victim
- Person sharing a child with the victim
- Person engaging in a long-term dating relationship with the victim
Domestic violence statistics
Domestic violence statistics make it clear how commonly it occurs. Consider the following statistics:
- More than 100 domestic violence-related deaths occur in Michigan every year.
- A total of 100,000 victims report domestic violence in Michigan every year.
- One in four women and one out of seven men experience physical violence from a partner.
- Intimate partners committed 45% of the rapes reported by women.
- An estimated 19% of domestic violence occurs with a weapon.
Perpetrators of domestic violence may receive as little as 93 days in jail for their first offense. A second offense results in one year in jail, and a third offense can put them in prison for five years. Additional charges, such as assault with a deadly weapon or strangulation, can add years to a prison sentence.
The most important fact about domestic violence is that it does not occur only once. Remove yourself from a violent situation as soon as possible.