(Editor’s Note: Piatt County State’s Attorney Victims Advocate Kelle Sebens wrote several informational articles to spotlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month.)
“He doesn’t mean to hurt me - he just loses control.”
“He can be sweet and gentle.”
He’s scared me a few times, but he never hurts the children - he is a great father.”
“He’s had a really hard life.”
“He’s more sensitive than other people - and he’s doing the best he can.”
“He always apologizes.”
“He is fine when he is sober, but when he is drinking, watch out.”
“I feel like she is never happy, no matter what I do.”
“She calls me disgusting names and then tells me later she is sorry, that I made her do it.”
“The thing is, she is the only one who gets me.”
“He manages to twist everything around so that it’s my fault.”
“Everyone sees him as this perfect, fun guy, but they don’t see my bruises.”
“Why do they do that?”
Does your partner keep track of your schedule and whereabouts? Control you by being very bossy or demanding? Blame others, especially you, for his/her mistakes? Accuse you of flirting or cheating? Constantly criticize you? Control all the money? Humiliate you in front of others, including making jokes at your expense? Threaten to hurt you, your children, your pets, your family? Use violence or intimidation to stop you from working, going to school, socializing with friends, visiting family? Force you to have sex or demand sexual acts that make you uncomfortable? Push, hit, slap, punch, kick, spit, bite or throw things at you or the children?
Partner violence, also referred to as domestic violence, spouse abuse, battering or wife beating, can be defined as intentional violent or controlling behavior by a person who is currently or was previously, in an intimate relationship with the victim. Partner violence encompasses a syndrome of coercive behaviors that may include, but are not limited to: actual or threatened physical injury, sexual assault, psychological abuse, economic control, social isolation.
According to the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
–467 gun related domestic fatalities in 2019
–10 million people a year are physically abused by an intimate partner
–On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner
–20,000 calls were placed a day to domestic violence hotlines in the U.S. in 2019
–1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical and sexual abuse
–1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Behaviors include slapping, shoving, pushing
–1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner
–20 percent of women in the U.S. have been raped
–1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt fearful or they would be harmed or killed
–The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide by 500%
–Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes
–19 percent of domestic violence cases involves weapons
–19.3 million women and 5.1 million men have been stalked in their lifetime.60.8% of female stalking victims and 43.5% men reported being stalked by a current or former partner.
–72 percent of all murder suicides involve an intimate partner. 94 percent of the victims of these murder suicides are female.
Domestic violence is a crime. Any person who hits, chokes, kicks, threatens, harasses or interferes with the personal liberty of another family or household member has broken Illinois domestic violence laws. If you have been a victim or know someone who has, please contact your local law enforcement agency.