What is Abuse?
Domestic Abuse — A Silent Epidemic
- Each year, approximately 2 million women are severely assaulted by male partners.
- Each year, an estimated 3.3 million children witness domestic abuse.
- Each year, 40% of teenage girls ages 14-17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
- Businesses pay an estimated $3 to $5 billion a year in medical expenses associated with domestic violence and forfeit an additional $100 million a year in lost wages, sick leave, absenteeism and non-productivity.
- Domestic abuse has been linked to a wide range of societal problems; people from violent homes include 89% of violent criminals; 95% of homeless people; a large percentage of alcoholics and drug addicts; many juvenile delinquents; and a majority of welfare recipients.
- The DuPage County Health Department identified domestic abuse and child abuse/neglect as two of the top five major public health problems.
- DuPage crime data indicate that domestic abuse is the county’s second most prevalent offense.
Only a small percentage of domestic incidents are reported, so we know these statistics represent only the tip of the iceberg.
Is it Abuse?
Are You Afraid of Someone You Love?
Do you feel like you are “walking on eggshells” around your partner? Does your relationship feel like an “emotional rollercoaster”? Would you describe your partner as a “Jekyll and Hyde”? Many victims of domestic abuse use these phrases to describe their experiences. The following list was designed to help you evaluate the level of abuse you are experiencing or have experienced in a relationship. It includes emotion, financial and physical abuse.
Does your partner:
- frequently blame or criticize you or your family?
- blame you for “causing” the abuse?
- abuse animals?
- keep you from doing things you want to do, like seeing family and friends, or going to work or school?
- withhold approval, affection or sex?
- threaten to have you deported?
- get angry if something is not done to his/her liking or if you pay attention to someone or something else?
- not allow you to sleep?
- take away car keys, money or credit cards?
- threaten to leave or tell you to leave?
- spread rumors about you or tell people that you are crazy?
- frequently check up on you?
- threaten to commit suicide?
- embarrass you in front of people?
- minimize or deny being abusive?
- abuse your children?
- use drugs or alcohol to excuse his/her behavior?
- control the bank accounts, credit cards, cash, etc?
- refuse to put your name on joint assets?
- refuse to let you work, or refuse to get a job?
- refuse to pay bills?
- cause you to lose your job?
- pressure or force you to have sex or do something that makes you uncomfortable or hurt?
- accuse you of having or wanting to have sex with others?
- threaten to disclose your relationship if you don’t want it known?
- use your children to relay negative messages or to report on you?
- threaten to take custody of or kidnap your children?
- threaten to make false reports to DCFS about you?
- push, grab, shove, slap or punch you?
- kick, choke or bite you?
- tie you up, physically restrain you or prevent you from leaving an area?
- threaten you with a knife, gun or other weapon?
- throw objects or destroy property?
- disregard your needs when you are ill, injured or pregnant?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, or are concerned about the level of abuse you are experiencing or have experienced, please call Family Shelter Service and talk with someone who understands.