Americans are forced to stay home during the pandemic. But this crisis has led to an increase in domestic violence with victims mainly women and children. Several cities in the US are already reporting jumps in domestic violence cases.
Nine out of a total of 20 large metropolitan police departments, which have data available saw double-digit percentage jumps in domestic violence cases either compared to a year ago or to earlier months in 2020.
Between March 12 and 23 Portland, Oregon had a 27% increase in domestic violence arrests as compared with the same period in 2019, according to the police. Boston had a 22% increase in domestic assault and act of violence reports between March 2019 and March 2020. At the same time, Seattle had a 21% increase in reports of domestic violence during the same time period.
In some regions like Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Omaha police reported double-digit percent increases in domestic violence calls asking for help comparing March 2019 with March 2020. Also, Kansas City reported a similar increase in domestic violence.
St. Louis and Denver didn’t register any significant change in domestic violence cases in March 2020 comparing to a year ago and Las Vegas saw a small reduction in calls for help.
It is noteworthy that New York City saw a 15% drop in domestic violence cases from March 2020 to 2019. At Chicago act of violence against women and children has increased by 3% between March 2019 and 2020 while at Illinois the number of calls related to domestic violence cases set a record in March 2020 compared to the available data for the last 20 years.
In general, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
One in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc, according to the statistics of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered «domestic violence». One in seven women and one in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner. Also, one in ten women has been raped by an intimate partner. Also, one in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.
For example in California, 32.9 % of women and 27.3% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime. Furthermore, a forcible rape occurs every 56 minutes in California. Between 2009 and 2011, while other types of homicides decreased, domestic violence fatalities in California increased by 11%. Domestic violence homicides comprise 11.8% of all California homicides.
In Texas, 34.5% of women and 35.1% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime. In 2013, there were 76,704 reported victims of abuse by current or former spouses. Many others went unreported. This statistic excludes reported abuse between non-married intimate partners. In 2014, Texas domestic violence hotlines answered 185,373 calls.
In Florida, 34.2% of women and 24.6% of men experience intimate partner dating violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime. In 2013, 108,030 domestic violence incidents were reported to police in Florida.
In New York, 32.3% of women and 33.5% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime. In 2013, New York City law enforcement responded to 284,660 domestic violence incidents. Police outside of New York City responded to 187,710 domestic violence incidents.
Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8,000,000 million days of paid work each year, the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs. Intimate partner violence is estimated to cost the US economy between $5.8 billion and $12.6 billion annually, up to 0.125% of the national gross domestic product. Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse.
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