According to a 2010 CDC study, one in four women and nearly one in seven men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner. That’s approximately 60 million people who have been the victim of severe physical violence and all of them at the hand of someone they knew, of an intimate partner.
Adults are not the only victims of domestic violence. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Human Services data, Child Protective Services agencies investigated reports of abuse or neglect towards three million children in 2011. Of those reports, approximately 676,000 were substantiated. That’s 676,000 children who were abused or neglected in one year. Further, in 2011 there were 1,570 confirmed fatalities of children who died from abuse or neglect at the hand of a parent or caretaker. Eighty-one percent of those children were under four years old.
The numbers are staggering, and in my mind, the implications are clear. Everyone from President Obama to Mayor Bloomberg’s Demand a Plan campaign will shamelessly exploit the stories of children who are killed in tragic but isolated incidents, yet these same people are noticeably silent about the millions of children and innocent adults in our country who are victims of or witness to violence in the place they should feel safest: their homes.