Myth

Domestic abuse has never happened to anyone I know.

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Fact

Domestic abuse is in every community. One in four women in the U.S. will experience domestic abuse at some point in her life. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, men account for approximately 15% of the victims of reported intimate partner violence (February 2003). However, domestic abuse against men is likely even more under-reported than violence against women. Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse received more than 5,000 calls to its crisis hotline last year. NBC reports that one in three women globally will have suffered some form of intimate partner violence by the age of 15. To read the full NBC report click here.

Myth

Domestic abuse is about personal relationships. It has no economic impact on me.

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Fact

The CDC estimated that the annual cost for healthcare services used to treat victims of domestic violence in the United States is at least $4.1 billion, based on 1995 cost figures. These cost figures, now nearly 20 years old, are astronomical. Now consider the cost to the legal system, the lost productivity in the workplace, the first responders who go out on domestic violence calls (in 2012, there were 12,000 domestic violence calls in Pima County). If you work, pay taxes, go to the doctor or have medical insurance, you’re paying for domestic abuse.

Click here to read more about the cost of domestic abuse online.

Myth

The pressures of adult relationships cause abuse, teen relationships are never abusive.

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Fact

In Pima County, 19.2 percent (one in five) of youth reported being a victim of one or more incidents of teen dating violence during the previous 12 months. This figure was reported by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission based on findings from a 2010 survey. Teen dating violence has recently been recognized as a significant public health problem by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other governmental and nongovernmental agencies. Unhealthy or abusive relationships can cause short-term and long-term negative effects. The CDC reported that adolescents experiencing teen dating violence were more likely to do poorly in school, abuse illicit substances, suffer from emotional problems, and continue patterns of violence into adulthood (CDC, 2010). Teens are less likely than adults to tell someone that they are being abused or ask for help.

For more on teen dating violence in Arizona read the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission’s findings: click here.

Myth

If one parent is abusing the other, the abuser is likely still a good parent. The abuse should not be considered as a factor when it comes to the custody of the couple’s children.

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Fact

Research has also shown that there is a strong correlation or overlap between child abuse and domestic abuse. Additional reviews of the research by Edleson (1999) and others have indicated that there is approximately a 50% overlap between domestic violence and child maltreatment. Additionally, it is estimated of the 15 million children who live in homes where abuse is present, more than three million witness the abuse. These children are more likely to become abusers as adults or to choose an abusive partner than children who grew up in nonviolent homes. To learn more about the correlation between intimate partner violence and child abuse: click here.