In the United States on September 15, 2010, three women were murdered by their intimate partners, 36 babies were born to mothers living in domestic violence shelters and 391 survivors started new jobs. Three men committed suicide – one after murdering his wife, another after a failed attempt to kill his girlfriend, and the third after holding his partner hostage and a standoff with the police. With astonishing numbers such as these, a person can’t help but wonder— how many domestic violence services are used per day in the United States?
A survey recently released by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) reveals telling information about the status of domestic violence services in the U.S. NNEDV conducts this study once a year to provide the public with a snapshot of what family violence programs across the U.S. see in their shelters on one particular day. From those programs that participated, the survey shows how many calls local hotlines received, what services programs were able to offer and any needs that went unmet due to a lack of resources.
The study revealed that on September 15, 2010, 91 percent of identified domestic violence programs in the U.S. participated in the 2010 National Census of Domestic Violence Services. During the 24-hour period, domestic violence victim advocates served more than 70,000 adults and children and answered more than 20,000 emergency hotline calls. During the same 24 hours, more than 9,000 requests for services went unmet, largely due to lack of funding.
Though the economy does not cause domestic violence, factors associated with economic uncertainties can increase the severity and frequency of abuse. At the same time, options for survivors to escape can be more limited. More than 80 percent of local domestic violence programs reported an increased demand for their services while nearly the same number reported decreases in funding.
The full results of the National Domestic Violence Counts 2010 are available online at www.nnedv.org/census.