Domestic Violence is a Public Health Concern
By Hoosier Hills PACT
Domestic violence is a well known and often used term. Although it may describe various violent relationships, such as child abuse and elder abuse, it is most commonly applied to an intimate relationship between two adults in which one partner uses a pattern of assault and intimidating acts to assert power and control over the other partner. Only recently recognized as a major public health issue, domestic violence has a long, dark past and is firmly entrenched in many societies. Although domestic violence usually includes violent attacks, as we have learned, it is not limited to physical acts of violence, but may include psychological, economic, and sexual abuse, as well as attempts to isolate the partner.
According to Dr. Nidal M. Karim, a behavioral scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "The stark reality is that domestic violence is a serious public health issue, not a private family matter." The CDC website states that "Intimate Partner Violence is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly one third of U.S. women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Domestic violence is associated with an array of health problems. In the short term, physical violence can result in injuries or death. One third of all female homicide victims are killed by male intimate partners.
A 2007 pediatrics study found children directly exposed to intimate partner violence had greater emergency and primary care needs. They were also three times more likely to use mental health services after the intimate partner violence ended.
As with any public health issue the keys to addressing domestic violence are partnerships and collaboration between many different groups. If you or someone you know is being abused or being abusive in an intimate relationship there is help. Hoosier Hills PACT is here in Orange County and can be reached at 812-723-2621.
Offices of Hoosier Hills PACT
County Health Complex
205 East Main Street
24 hour hotline 888-883-1959
Facebook: PACT-Hoosier Hills
Hoosier Hills PACT
(credit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and "Futures Without Violence")