Domestic violence is rarely discussed openly. Yet according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner. In their lifetime, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will have experienced domestic violence. Intimate partner violence makes up 15% of all violent crimes in the US. Not all domestic violence is physical, either: stalking, rape, financial abuse, and verbal abuse are forms of domestic violence.
Studies have found that survivors of domestic violence experience higher rates of depression, eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts. The effects of domestic violence are physical too, including increased rates of chronic pain, unwanted pregnancies, HIV, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, and substance abuse.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may feel hesitant to reach out for help, especially if you fear repercussions from your abuser. You should know that domestic violence hotlines like the one offered through RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) are 100% free and confidential. There are also empathetic therapists out there who understand your situation and what you are going through and can help you break free from your abusive relationship.