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Hitting Home – How We Can Curb Domestic Violence

The statistics surrounding domestic violence are staggering. Consider the following:

  • In the United States, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • Eighty-five percent of domestic violence victims are women, with women aged 22 to 24 being at the greatest risk.
  • Intimate partner violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S.
  • More than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in the U.S. every day.
  • Women who are divorced or separated report being battered 14 times more often than those still living with their abusers.
  • Between 2009 to 2011, a total of 49 individuals died in Dallas County as a result of 34 intimate-partner-violence homicide cases.
  • African-American women are approximately 2.5 times more likely to die by intimate partner violence than white females or Hispanic females.

What is domestic or intimate-partner violence? Intimate-partner violence, according to the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for Social Work Research, consists of physical abuse, sexual abuse, threats made against the self or family, and verbal abuse. Behavior exhibited in intimate-partner violence demonstrates a pattern of abuse used by one person to gain or maintain power, control and authority over another.

What perpetuates domestic violence? A patriarchal view of relationships toward women and children that asserts control over cooperation and mutuality tends to open the door to domestic violence. In addition – in our contemporary culture – a warped understanding of masculinity has developed that equates being violent to being a man.

Additional resources on domestic violence can be found below.

Faithful Action

The Book of Discipline recognizes that family violence and abuse in all its forms is detrimental to the covenant of the community. The United Methodist Church encourages congregations to provide a safe environment, counsel and support for the victim. While the UMC deplores actions of the abuser, we also affirm the perpetrator to be in need of God’s redeeming love. According to the Book of Resolutions, the Church must reexamine the theological messages it communicates in light of the experiences of victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Part of our call, as individuals and as a Church, is to address the root causes of violence, eradicate it in all forms and be God’s instruments for the wholeness of affected victims. People of faith should take the lead in calling for a just response by the community in the face of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

What We Can Do

(Tips from the United Methodist Women)

Attend Upcoming Events

Additional Resources