September 26, 2011
Human Rights are an on going issue in the United States. Every person equally should have the ability to walk freely amongst their community. More specifically, women have fallen into the pitfalls of those issues. Some major issues are being victims of domestic violence and rape.
For some time domestic violence was acceptable in a relationship. “In an 1864 domestic violence case, a North Carolina court ruled that a husband could use ‘such a degree of force as necessary’ against his wife ‘to control an unruly temper and make her behave herself.’”(Domestic Violence) With each passing year the lawmakers do strive to make the United States a safer place. “In 1871, a state court ruling in Fulgham v. State made Alabama the first state to deny a husband's "right" to abuse his wife, holding that the "privilege, ancient though it be, to beat her with a stick, to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor... is not acknowledged by law." A North Carolina court agreed in 1874, but limited justified legal intervention to beatings that caused permanent injury to the abused.”(Domestic Violence) “Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was a watershed moment in the history of women’s rights legislation in America. Violence against women, in the form of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, and stalking was and continues to be a national epidemic. VAWA marks the first effort to deal with these problems on a federal level and provide resources for the myriad state, community and city organizations that assist victims in crisis and promote violence prevention.” (Legal Momentum)
Young women, low-income women and some minorities are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and rape. Women who are around the ages of 20-24 have the greatest risk for domestic violence and women younger than 24 have a higher risk of rape. In 2006 232,960 women were raped, those were only the reported rape cases in the United States (Violence against Women). Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior. Abusive behavior can be but not limited to physical, sexual, and emotional towards another person (Department of Justice). “Despite growing attention to the problem of domestic violence and the passage of numerous laws at the federal and state level attempting to rein it in, victims of abusive relationships remain largely silent.” (Domestic Violence) If these women have families not only will it directly affect to women it will affect everyone around her. Women should never have to fear for their well being in a relationship. Of course there are many organizations to help women of these crimes but that is not all that is takes.
On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner. In the United States in 1995, the cost of intimate partner rape, physical assault and stalking totaled $5.8 billion each year for direct medical and mental health care services. Since 2003 the cost of care has gone up to $8.3 billion (FVPF). About 95% of victims of domestic violence are women. More than 50% of all women will experience physical violence in an intimate relationship, and for 24-30% of those women, the battering will be regular and on-going (Despres, Valerie).