Domestic violence, is a pattern of behavior in which an intimate partner threatens or abuses the other individual in the relationship. Abuse can be physical harm, emotional manipulation, or forced sexual acts. Abuse can also include economic or immigration threats. Most cases of reported abuse is from women or children, however men can also be victims. In a lot of cases domestic abuse is seen because a partner feels the need to control the other individual. A lot of immigrant individuals are victims of domestic abuse. A lot of domestic abuse within the immigrant community goes unreported because they speak minimal English, and fear that they will be separated from their families. Another reason immigrants do not report domestic abuse is because many are unaware of the laws regarding abuse. Domestic violence affects between 960,000 and 3,000,000 people each year in the United states. Those statistics are just the people who report the abuse. It is believed that more than 10 million individuals fall victim to domestic violence each year.
In the XVI century, domestic abuse was allowed because it was a way for the husband to correct the wives behavior. Closer to the XIX century, states tried to move away from that and men were only allowed to hit their wives with a switch that had to be smaller than his thumb. Eventually laws were put into place which made it illegal to abuse your spouse. However in many countries it is still quite common. In many Latin American countries 50% of women reported being physically assaulted by their partner. Many countries in Latin America require women to go to the hospital and get a medical examination and receive a certificate before they can file a complaint. There has been a call to action for Latin American countries regarding domestic abuse. The call to action will hopefully bring some new laws into place protecting women and children from domestic abuse. All US citizens who are victims of domestic abuse regardless of their status or citizenship are able to access help. Help can be provided either by government agencies or non-government agencies. Help can be provided in a variety of ways, some of them include counseling, safety planning, emergency housing or monetary assistance. Listed below are some 24 hour hotlines which are free to use. The numbers below can help you if you need housing, medical care, or counseling and legal advice. National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) www.ndvh.org
National Sexual Assault Hotline of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673) www.rainn.org National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) www.missingkids.com The National Center for Victims of Crime 1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255) 1-800-211-7996 (TTY) www.ncvc.org