In one year alone 12.7 million men and women in the United States are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners. That same 12.7 million is approximately the number of people in New York City and Los Angeles combined. That is 24 people every minute. More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. About 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) have experienced severe physical violence by a spouse and most female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner (69% of female victims; 53% of male victims) experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age. Men and women who experience physical violence by a spouse in their lifetime are more likely to report frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty with sleeping, activity limitations, poor physical health and poor mental health than men and women who have not experienced these forms of violence. Women who have experienced these forms of violence are also more likely to report having asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and diabetes than women who have not experience these forms of violence. Along with early prevention efforts such as promoting healthy, respectful relationships in families by fostering healthy parent-child relationships and developing positive family dynamics and emotionally supportive environments, awareness, understanding and taking action is the only way to see a decrease in the numbers of men and women being abused by a spouse. Hopefully through research and evaluation of spousal abuse, it’ll be easier to understand why abuse between intimate partners is so prevalent in today’s society, and possibly theorize a way to put a halt or definitely decrease the number of people who fall victim to it.
Spousal abuse is a major problem as it pertains to one’s health. Battered women suffer physical and mental problems as a result of spousal abuse. Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, much more significant than auto accidents, rapes, or muggings. The emotional and psychological abuse inflicted by abusers may be more costly to treat in the short-run than physical injury. Many of the physical injuries sustained by women seem to cause medical difficulties throughout that woman’s life. Arthritis, hypertension and heart disease have been identified by abused women as directly caused or aggravated by domestic violence suffered early in their adult lives. However, spousal abuse is not just a woman’s issue, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, men account for approximately 15% of the victims of reported intimate partner violence. Every year in the U.S., about 3.2 million men are the victims of an assault by an intimate partner. Most assaults are relatively minor such as pushing, shoving, slapping or hitting, though many are more serious and some do end in homicide. Although spousal abuse is an underreported crime regardless, men tend to refrain from reporting this type of abuse more so than women. Men tend to deal with physical abuse in silence to avoid being ridiculed and mocked, and also because they think no one will believe them. In the mindset of traditional gender roles "real men" are expected to be able to "control" their wives. Aside from the embarrassment over admitting abuse, abused men may feel that they are inadequate or less of a man for "allowing" themselves to be abused. However, abuse is never the victim's fault, whether the victim is male or female. Children are subjected to this abuse as