The United Nations marks March 8 as International Women’s Day with the theme “Equality for women is progress for all.” International Women’s Day has been observed each year since 1975.
Advocating equality for women includes addressing the problem of domestic violence. Each year, about 1.3 women in the United States experience domestic violence. About 29% of all women in the country report some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetimes, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Eradicating domestic violence is necessary to ensure equality and protect and improve women’s rights across the globe.
Domestic violence includes physical, emotional and sexual harm, threats, and stalking. Domestic violence is more common in relationships with dominance or control issues, high tension, economic stress, and relationship conflict. Among factors that contribute to the risk of domestic violence are low educational levels, youth, diminished self-esteem, a history of abuse, mental illness, social isolation, low income, and emotional insecurity, according to the CDC.
Often when a woman experiences violence, her children suffer emotional consequences even if they are not physically abused. If you are in a relationship that involves violence or threat of violence, you know that it is a highly volatile environment, filled with stress and constant fear.
The first step in dealing with domestic violence is understanding that it is not your fault. You are not to blame, and you are not responsible for your partner’s actions toward you or your children. Many perpetrators threaten to harm themselves if their partner leaves. But it is important to realize that you must protect yourself and your children and that your partner is not likely to harm himself if you leave or get help.
Domestic violence by its very nature strips victims of self-esteem, power, and independence. A victim may feel that it is nearly impossible to leave, change, or get help. But help is available, and no situation is hopeless.
Leaving a violent relationship is fraught with fear, stress, and danger, but support, information, and legal assistance are available as you make changes in your life. If you are a victim of domestic violence, or are concerned your relationship could become abusive, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for immediate assistance in locating a shelter near you.
Because leaving a violent relationship may be difficult, it is essential to have legal support.
Source: Social Work Degree