Still Difficult for Many Americans to Recognize and Act on Domestic Violence, 2018 Survey Reveals

Despite the fact that the world is now paying more attention than ever to domestic violence, abuse and harassment, people who are living through it remain reluctant to report or talk about what is happening behind closed doors.  The media, key opinion leaders, governments and organizations are hard at work to trying to tackle and prevent these issues, but the more silence there is, the harder it becomes to do so.

A 2018 national survey from All State Foundation Purple Purse reveals that while the American public deems domestic violence as one of the most serious issues, one-third (34%) consider it taboo to discuss about it.  And this perception has deepened in the last four years, seeing an increase from 24% in 2014. Participants in the survey was conducted on almost 2,000 American adults over the age of 18 from Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas.

According to findings, financial abuse is the least known form of domestic violence, especially when taking into consideration that almost half (47%) of people are not aware that it actually is a form of domestic violence.  Shockingly, financial abuse occurs in 99% of the cases and what is even sadder is that many victims do not even know it.  It is important to raise awareness around the fact that this type of abuse rarely happens alone.  In most cases, perpetrators use other abusive behaviours as well to intimidate the victim and reinforce the financial abuse.

Over half (55%) of respondents reported being or knowing a victim of domestic violence.  But less than half have spoken to someone about it and almost the same number of people (48%) consider financial abuse to be the most difficult to recognize from outside.  The situation is devastating and it shows there is so much more that needs to be done to close the gap.  Imagine that 51% of survivors said they would not know how to help another person living through the same experience. 

The American public is facing many hurdles not only in overcoming domestic violence and abuse, but also recognizing and acting on it.  It is even more heart-breaking to think that many victims return to their abuser.  About seven in eight women choose to go back to an abusive partner after leaving because of the lack of financial resources.  It is distressing to learn these things and to think about the millions who are living their lives in fear and instability. 

Many times, it may seem inconceivable to reach out and ask for help.  But it is the only way a victim of domestic violence can get the help and support they need.  Talk about it, seek professional support and most importantly, contact a trusted lawyer.  

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