Every 9 Seconds

Every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is beaten.

That’s what was displayed on the video presentation at the Human Options annual fund raiser on May 20, 2017. (Human Options, located in Orange County, California, is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic violence and abuse.)

While staring at that number, waves of disbelief washed over me. I wondered if that statistic was higher or lower for the rest of the world. DV (domestic violence) is not tied to a socio-economic level, specific nationality, or neighborhood, and I had trouble accepting the incredible barbarous behavior was permeating our society at such an alarming rate. I didn’t know DV was THAT pervasive in the U.S.

Then I realized the statistic reflected the REPORTED incidents of DV. More often than not, physical abuse is not documented. You may wonder why doesn’t someone who’s being battered report the abuse or leave the relationship? There are many factors including but not limited to: fear of being homeless, financial reasons, isolation, concern for the safety of a beloved pet, hope that it won’t happen again, shame, and/or guilt.

Imagine that you’re a mother, and in order to be safe, you must take your children, abandon your home and your belongings, and without telling family or friends (if you did, their lives could be endangered), move to another city, (county, state, country), where you need to find housing, enroll your children in a new school, seek employment, and start anew. Could you do that? Of course it’s easy to say, “Yes, if my life depended on it.” Research shows that a woman will attempt to leave 7 times before staying away permanently.

This is a complex and complicated topic that I’m addressing in my second novel, Love Shouldn’t Hurt. I’m a quarter of the way into the story, and from time to time, I’ll be blogging about my characters, their experiences, DV research, and what I’ve learned. If you (or someone you know) might be interested, please share and/or subscribe to my posts at www.michelekhoury.com on the Blog page.

During the time you spent reading this, 29 women were beaten.

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If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Human Options 24 hour toll free hotline at 1-877-854-3594; or the national hotline at 1-800-799-7233, and
1-800-787-3224 (TTY for Deaf/hard of hearing).

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