National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Finding Ways To Make a Difference

The following blog entry is written by Michael Foti, Editor of the Legal Network.

As the Editor of the Legal Network, I’m often faced with the challenge of providing interesting, relevant content for our readers.  At the same time, I try to use my position as an outlet to create change and make a difference.  Combining the two can often be challenging, however when it came to domestic violence, it seemed like a match made in heaven.

Initially my goal was to raise awareness on the legalities of domestic violence and the applicable laws. I had my team write numerous articles on these topics but the more research I did, the more I felt compelled to provide additional content.  The fact is, I realized just how overlooked domestic violence is in our society.

This conclusion hit me after we compiled a list of DV statistics.  I was ASTONISHED by the results our research provided.  Here’s a few examples:

1. Over 1/4 of women are raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their life by their partner.
2. More than 50% of women that are killed by a firearm are murdered by their partner.
3. Nearly 1.5 MILLION women are physically assaulted by their partner every single year in the US.
4. Close to 33% of women that are murdered are killed by an intimate partner.

The list goes on and on.

The bottom line is this: Domestic violence is an issue that plagues our society and must be paid the proper attention.  Considering I deal with the law and legal issues each and every day, I think I’m qualified to say that DV is severely under-prosecuted by law enforcement.  Maybe stricter punishment would help deter sexual assault, however there is something we can all do to help: RAISE AWARENESS.  Victims need to be made aware of their options, as well as where they can turn for help.  The amazing thing about all these statistics is that those are the KNOWN accounts, nevermind how many women are attacked or raped and never come forward.  Approximately 18% of women that experience domestic violence do not report it to the authorities.  Chances are, those women were afraid because they were unaware of exactly what type of assistance they could receive..until now.

Check out for a comprehensive list of domestic violence resources, including domestic violence laws and organizations victims can turn to.

13 replies
  1. Chelsea says:

    I was in an abusive relationship from when I was 14 to 16 and he was the first person I ever dated. I feel as if I know many people who don’t take domestic violence seriously or really know much about it. I’ve heard friends say that it’s the victim’s fault or that dating abuse doesn’t happen in high school relationships. These attitudes are not okay and I feel that raising awareness about domestic violence should start as early as possible in homes, schools, the community. It’s an issue that’s extremely underrepresented, especially the fact that men can be/are abused too! I’m in college now and I want to try to bring more attention to domestic violence. It’s empowering to read about other people’s experiences because then I don’t feel so alone. Thank you for sharing your stories!

  2. Cindy says:

    Hi Shellene
    Some days I am a survivor & some days I am still a victim, but volunteering & receiving appropriate training can start right at your own local women’s shelter.
    Just google DV plus your zip code, should open some doors. Check your local social service department at the county level, they might have a link to a shelter or support organization.

  3. Shellene says:

    I am a domestic violence survivor!!! It feels great to say that but I had no help because I felt like I had to keep it hush hush. I would like to help other people in the situation I was in. But where do I go

  4. johana says:

    Domestic Abuse is something that can affect anyone surrounded by it. As a child i was raised in an abusive household. I was not abused but my mother was. I watched my mother suffer so much it was unforgetable. My mother never said anything to make this stop because she did not want her kids to lose their father. I very much respect my mother for having so much love for her children to be able to withstand so much pain and suffering. I now till this day cannot forgive my father but i cannot hate him because he now realizes his mistakes and is very resintful for it. It is hard to believe that a man that shows me so much love and cares for me so much can be the one person I became so afraid of as a child, but has now helped me become a better person.

    Domestic abuse is huge nationally. 1 in every 4 people are abused domestically.
    this is something that can be stopped as long as you take a stand.

  5. Craig says:

    I am a 51 yr old disabled single male parent, I survived over 2.5 yrs of total hell, My Exwife became Adicted to prescib pain killers, In 4 yrs she put me in the hospital 3 differant times, Broke my rt shoulder BLADE in 2 places,Broke the rotator cup on the same shoulder,, IN that 4 yr period, NOTHING was done to her, There was no place for my daughter and I to go, ALL the shelters in the area where I lived ONLY had places for females and their children.. So I had to keep putting up with it. Finally after She went after our daughter did I FINALLY have the courage to stand up to her and get a judge to listen and see what I had been going through. Got her out of the house permantly..
    The prob With most states is the men that get abused have NO LAWS to protect them, NOR can they get law enforcement to listen or do anything..
    MOST abuse shelters DONT have accomadations for abused men, I can see where they have to protect the weman, I ub=nderstand it, BUT it hurts, I also had NO place to go for mental help for several yrs after, I had a WONDERFUL chance to finally get help from a abuse shelter, It was the best 2.5 yrs I had had..
    Now that Ivemoved from the area, its been 2 yrs since ive had someone to talk to..
    I still cant trust enough to even want to date.. Ive been away from her 6 yrs now, I want to trust, IM JUST SCARED TO.. I dont want to go through all that again..
    THANK YOU for allowing a man to voice his problems and his opion on here

  6. camille says:

    my name is camille im 33yrs. im a old aquaintance of crime victim boards because i was a victim of a crime.anyway on tues.feb2,2010 i was assulted by a guy i was dating for two was a wake up call that i had seen before but this one and all of the other ones should have been my sign to on here today to plead my story with any young or old woman to recognize the signs of abuse physical, mental,controllin all of the a call him bbking cause i treated him just that a king.please listen and do not let this happen to you.let him drive my car cause his wasnt working,keys to my apt cause he was tired of living in his parents apt. two baby mothers,child support being taken out his check and none of those things made me think less of him.i couldnt have friends.there was a time scedule for me to spend time with my family.then tues he went upside my head with a bottle cause a friend i havent seen that he previously met when we first started dating came to my house and tried to help me with getting a job cause they were in charge of hiring and i had previosly lost my job. i had gained a bunch of weight and he didnt make me feel like he really wanted me.he had even stopped having sex with me. i could go on and on about different episodes i been through with man my only wish today by puttin my thoghts on this blog is please do not end up like me. today is fri. the 5th 2010 and i wanna die.why cause i feel like no one will ever love me backed up on my bills i work at wendy the one man i loved wanted to beat on me and i just cant imagine what purpose i a have for this i hope i help someone cause im ready to come off this earth completely.

    • Maria says:

      Hello Camille,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your relationship…are you still with this guy? do not feel bad about yourself woman we all get down on ourselves and let others take advantage of the situation. You do have a purpose and it looks like you are trying to make a difference for other woman already! I don’t know what religion you are if any, but if you believe in God, I suggest you start developing a relationship with him. He will listen to you if you believe. This has helped me get thru my delima. Also, if you have family close by reach out to them and let them know what is happening even if you are embarrassed because this way they will be aware just in case something happens. Let me know what you circumstances are now, like again is he in your life now?

  7. cynthia says:

    Thank you so much. I want to share a success story involving me and my alcoholic abuser. It has taken me 8 sad years of my life to finally be free from his abuse and the abuse of his family members. My husband has recently trained to become a pastor and was institutionalized by a “christian” recovery program for 4 years. Our marriage has been hell. The only reason I survived is because of my relationship with Jesus Christ, my savior. God finally held a mirror to my face when my husband try to smother me twice early one morning in bed. He had only been out of the “institution” for 2 weeks when this happened. It also happened when we were on vacation at his Dad’s and he had not been drinking. Scarry stuff!!!!! I want to tell everyone…no matter who you are that you do NOT have to put up with this…I got out…NOW YOU get out!

    • dawn says:

      what do you do when someone puts you down all the time has people watching everymove use violence to get you to talk and then reject your calls and e-mails humilate you in public throws other women in your face keeps you from going to school or work and never givers you a compliment abuses your animals tells your you can’t hear perfume or makeup but this knows everyone and i do i become free of the abuse im at the point i;m afraid to leave me house

      • Cindy says:

        I called my local domestic violence holtline. 24/7 someone mans the hotline that is experienced in all your issues. 1st they will want to make sure all your actions & reactions are safe. 2nd They may want you to make an appointment with an intake counselor in efforts to validate your abuse & get you into a women’s group if offered.

        I didn’t do it on my own. I had one person who heard what was going on in my home & gently guided me towards the available resources. The choice had to be mine. It took me quite awhile, simply because I didn’t believe I was a victim.

        But the baby steps turns into giant leaps, your pace is yours and you will know when you have the tools & resources to make the best decision for you.

        Stay safe. You can’t control what they do, but you can control how you react. I would suggest these two tools.
        1. Journal (antecdotal, experiences, feelings, etc.)
        2. Google domestic violence safe plans

  8. Mary Frazier says:

    came up with a slogan. dont know who to contact with it. Would like it to be published. Not sure where or who to give it too. Please refer me. Interested in getting a message out there

  9. Maria says:

    Although is a great website, the site advertises many of the organizations that have been failing women across the country. To name a few, Safe Horizon and the NNEDV have not only failed me as a victim of domestic violence, but many victims that have reached out to me for help after these organizations ignored them. We should not be glorifying these organizations, rather come up with solutions that will actually help those affected by this crime. These organizations are not properly prepared or ready to truly offer the assistance and advocacy they claim to provide, and we must acknowledge that, not be ignorant to it or hide it.

    For more info:

    • Cindy says:

      Maria has a good point many organizations that claim to provide assistance, are truly not prepared to do so. It’s not that they don’t have the best intentions or their hearts in the right place, they just don’t understand the vast undertaking it is to provide this select population with educated & trained professionals.
      One astonishing fact is that you can obtain a respectable educational degree from a respectable college and are never required to take a specific course(s) related to Domestic Violence, Abuse, etc.

      A tool from my survivor’s bag is simply to ask: Out of all the service organizations that have entered into my life & into the lives of my children I have tired to ask for a SW that has 12-18 college credits specifically in domestic violence or that has received specific post graduate training/internship with a battered women’s shelter that provides counseling & educational services.

      Being re-victimized by systems designed to help, happens every day.

      My motto: Never go it alone.

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