We ran an experiment over the last several weeks in an effort to track how many email requests come from women, teenagers, children, or others that are fleeing domestic abuse or violence and that are survivors of this extremely serious issue. While it is hard to say for sure as some requests are unclear or maybe imply abuse, our best estimate is that about 4-6% of requests are from people facing violence/abuse.
First and foremost, we are not and never claim to be experts (or anything close to that) on this serious topic. We only get some requests from people who are seeking assistance. While ~5% may not sound like a high number to some people, we think any number above 0 is too high. Domestic abuse is inexcusable. We see requests from children, teenagers, but (maybe not surprisingly) the most come from women who are being physically abused or controlled by a male. The requests come from all sorts of individuals and have a wide range of history/stories with them. DV can impact anyone, no matter their age, race, gender, religion, or background.
While many of the emails allude to physical violence, but we are sure that there is a mental/verbal/control component to each of those as well. The financial need is what normally lands them on our site, but the truth is these victims/survivors need all sorts of help and support, including legal guidance, a safe place to stay, money, food, and much more.
Not only would we estimate it is around five percent of the emails, but that would only of course count if the requester mentioned abuse in their email. How many people are too afraid/ashamed or do not feel comfortable in indicating abuse in the email? So we imagine the 5% is way under reporting the requests we see.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 1 of every 3 women will experience abuse sometime in their lifetime. Once again, it is probably fair to say that number is also low/underreported due to the fear involved. Men are also impacted, at a rate of about 1 in 4 over their life.
Each minute, it is estimated that 20 people are abused each and every minute by their partner. That is 1200 per hour, 29,000 per day, and ~10 million per year. Horrible figures. Abuse comes in many forms, including physical, someone controlling a person, verbal, mental, and countless other types. Or sadly it can, and is often, all of the above.
While many experts would do a much better job of commenting on domestic abuse then we would, we see some of the financial impact of it on this site. As we said, most of the ~5% of email requests come from women. What we see tend to happen is the woman finally is able to – decides to leave the abusive situation. But then they in effect almost need to start all over in many cases. The domestic abuse survivor needs a safe place to live, clothing, furniture, often a job, free legal aid, counseling/support groups and countless other types of financial assistance.
Resources available for DV victims and survivors
There are thousands of organizations, charities, legal firms and other groups that work to help people experiencing domestic abuse. Whether it is physical, verbal, mental, sexual, or any type. While of course we have thousands of agencies and programs listed on needhelppayingbills.com (and of course most of those will support low income survivors) our site is not the best resource to use.
Any person who is facing or threatened by abuse should call The National Domestic Violence Hotline. The catch there is many victims may not even know they are being abused or in an abusive situation. The website also has countless resources, definitions of what abuse is/the problem, stats, and more. Find the website here.
For anyone that calls, the Hotline will provide free, confidential information to help women, children, or even the male get the assistance they need. And they help them get safe. The Hotline has counselors, has a database of thousands of programs/charities, and can offer extensive confidential support. The phone number is 1-800-799-7233.