Understand the Problem
Did you know?
- Over 100 domestic violence-related homicides occur in Michigan every year.
- One in three Michigan families are impacted by domestic violence.
- More than one million people report a violent assault by a partner every year in the U.S.
- The dollars spent on national health-care costs attributed to domestic violence and sexual assault have gone up dramatically.
It’s obvious that domestic violence and sexual assault represent serious problems in our state and in our country. But why?
Domestic violence and sexual assault know no boundaries. They affect all races, all ethnicities, all economic classes. While both men and women can be victims of violence, violence against women, often at the hands of men, is the more common scenario. The reason for this is rooted in the historical and current unequal balance of power between men and women and boys and girls. In the U.S., approximately 98% of batterers are male. And while the statistics here at home are staggering, violence against women reinforces men’s power and control over women throughout the world.
On some level, most of us unknowingly participate in the culture that supports and encourages violence against women and girls. Like when we tell our friends to “man up” when they have to do something difficult or when we laugh at sexist jokes. But there are also bigger ways culture supports and encourages violence. For example, when a manager makes light of a sexual harassment complaint, when celebrities accused of domestic violence receive special treatment, or when people don’t speak out against the beating and raping of women and girls.
People often say the best way to eliminate a problem is to eliminate its source. Of course, it’s humanly impossible for us to go around and stop every rape, assault or act of abuse when it occurs. But by understanding the problem and getting to the root of where it comes from, we can work together to help eliminate acts of domestic violence and sexual assault before they occur.
To learn more facts and statistics about domestic violence and sexual assault, click here.