We don’t like to think about it, but someone we know is statistically likely to be a victim of domestic violence. The statistics regarding domestic violence in this country are staggeringly, shockingly high. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner.
It’s a dirty little secret that in America, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and more than 600 women every day are sexually assaulted. Yes, crickets.
Where are all of the people who are supposedly so worried about the crimes committed by gangs crossing the border? Are crimes committed by citizens against other citizens (women) less worthy of fighting actively against? And what about the “conservatives” who consistently demonize Islam over the way women are treated, but don’t seem to give a good hoot what goes on here, in their own country? Here, where women are supposed to be free.
And who do you suppose has been the lone devoted champion of these invisible victims? Vice President Joe Biden. Can I call ya’ Joe, indeed.
Biden has been a loyal advocate for domestic violence victims. Biden said in March of this year that if he could wave a wand and end one thing, that would be domestic violence. He also announced a proposed $130.5 million increase in federal funding to combat violence against women in the fiscal 2011 budget. Cue the screams of socialism/Big Government from the Right.
And cue my response: Do they, or do they not, value women’s and children’s safety in this country? We have an epidemic of violence against women in the USA. They need to put their vote behind their family values for once. I guess it’s only worth bringing in the feds and spending the big dollars when they want to get rid of the brown people crossing the border, but they don’t want to bring in the feds or spend any money when it involves protecting women and children of this country.
According to NOW‘s website,
“In 1994, Violence Against Women Act was finally passed. It provided a record-breaking $1.6 billion to address issues of violence against women. However it took nearly an additional year to force the Newt Gingrich-led Congress to release the funding. An analysis estimated that in the first six years after VAWA was passed, nearly $14.8 billion was saved in net averted social costs.16 VAWA was reauthorized in 2005, with nearly $4 billion in funding over five years.”
Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, was a key player in the 1994 Crime Bill and Violence Against Women Act. This legislation actually saved money. One wonders what Newt Gingrich held against it. Perhaps it offended his sense of family values, which we know were impeachable after he left his first two wives after cheating on them.
Ladies of Liberal Land, do you not ever ask yourself why you aren’t running for office?
Isn’t women’s safety a family value? Domestic violence victims exhibit a variety of psychological symptoms that are similar to those of victims of other types of trauma, such as war and natural disaster. And these symptoms impact not only its victims, but in the children of those victims. The high rates of domestic violence in this country are a family values issue, a social issue, and an unacceptable reflection upon our values as culture.
Here are some quick facts about violence against women in the land of the free*:
– Somewhere in America a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner, every 15 seconds.
– 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape.
– Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
– 64% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date.
– Only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police.
-U.S. Justice Department statistics are even lower, with only 26% of all rapes or attempted rapes being reported to law enforcement officials.
– In the National Violence Against Women Survey estimates that more than 300,000 intimate partner rapes occur each year against women 18 and older.
– Men perpetrate the majority of violent acts against women.
– Factoring in unreported rapes, about 5% – one out of twenty – of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. 19 out of 20 will walk free.
– Access to firearms yields a more than five-fold increase in risk of intimate partner homicide when considering other factors of abuse.
– Of females killed with a firearm, almost two-thirds were killed by their intimate partners.
And lastly, to get a sense of the broader problem:
– Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime.
Yesterday was Women’s Equality Day. Ninety years ago, on August 26, 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution was completed, guaranteeing women the right to vote. Here’s to hoping that in the years to come, we will be able to celebrate an America which unified to recognize the importance of valuing women’s and children’s safety.
When domestic violence rates and sexual assault rates decline, when this is truly an anomaly and not the norm, we will have achieved something vaguely resembling freedom and liberty for women. And we will have Joe to thank for his tireless work. I challenge the Right to put their money where their mouths are and support freedom and liberty for women and children.
Sources: http://new.abanet.org/domesticviolence/Pages/Statistics.aspx, http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm, http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html
*note: While many of the statistics are from 2000, domestic violence rates are said to be going up as they often do during a bad economy.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.