Facts on Domestic Violence & Economic Abuse

With help from the Allstate Foundation… thousands of abused victims nationwide have benefitted from the… program that empowers victims of domestic violence with a financial strategy to escape abusive households and help provide them with resources and training to achieve independence."

The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program: Facts on Domestic Violence & Economic Abuse

Domestic violence threatens the safety and security of survivors and their families. This national crisis affects individuals, families, communities, and businesses. That's why we developed The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program that helps survivors of domestic violence to realize that safer and brighter futures for themselves and their families are within reach. The following information illustrates the pervasiveness, threats, and costs of domestic violence and economic abuse.

Domestic Violence

Because abuse often happens behind closed doors, it is important to understand the statistics that show just how many people are affected.

  • 1 in 4 women report experiencing domestic violence in their lifetimes.[1]
  • 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused each year as a result of domestic violence.[2]
  • All cultural, religious, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds are affected by domestic violence.[3]
  • Nearly 2.2 million people called local and national domestic violence hotlines in 2004.[4]
  • More than 1.35 million people accessed domestic violence victim services in 2005.[5]
  • The 2009 Allstate Foundation National Poll revealed
    • Over 75% of Americans believe the recent economic downturn further strained domestic violence victims and survivors.
    • 67% of Americans believe the poor economy has caused an increase in domestic violence.[6]

National Impact

Domestic violence can be devastating to families, but its effect on entire communities runs even deeper.

  • Over $5.8 billion each year is spent on health-related costs of domestic violence.[7]
  • Nearly 8 million days of paid work each year is lost due to domestic violence issues-the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs.[8]
  • 96% of domestic violence victims who are employed experience problems at work due to abuse.[9]
  • 33% of all police time is spent responding to domestic disturbance calls.[10]
  • 57% of cities cite domestic violence against women and children as the top cause of homelessness.[11]

Domestic Violence & Gender

Domestic violence is an issue that does not discriminate - it can impact people of all genders, races, incomes and ages. But, the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women.

  • Survivors of intimate partner violence are overwhelmingly female.
    • 84% of spouse abuse victims are women.
    • 86% of victims of abuse by a boyfriend or girlfriend are women.[12]
    • Intimate partner violence against men is overwhelming committed by male perpetrators.[13]
  • Nearly 5.3 million domestic violence incidents occur each year among women in the U.S. ages 18 and older.[14]

Domestic Violence & Economic Abuse

Physical abuse is the type of domestic violence most commonly discussed. But, economic abuse, using finances as a tool of power and control, happens just as frequently.

  • 74% of Americans personally know someone who is or has been abused.[15] However, 75% Americans also fail to connect domestic violence with economic abuse.[16]
  • Approximately 6 out of 10 Americans strongly agree that the lack of money and a steady income is often a challenge faced by a survivor of domestic violence when leaving her/his abuser.[17]

Domestic Violence to Economic Empowerment[18]

Often the term domestic violence evokes images of physical abuse. However, tens of thousands of women each year also experience of an equally devastating situation-economic abuse. Economic abuse can include an abuser preventing victims from working and accessing bank accounts, credit cards or transportation, among other isolating tactics. Financial security is the number one predictor of whether or not a victim of domestic violence will get free and stay free from abuse.

The path to economic empowerment requires time. Survivors must search for jobs, participate in job-readiness programs, research and identify affordable housing and childcare options, repair credit damaged by abusive partners, and deal with the day-to-day challenges of taking care of a family. It is not surprising that survivors of domestic violence need unique assistance to become financially secure. The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program understands this. We seek to help domestic violence survivors escape abusive situations and lead safe, financially secure lives.

The Struggles of Survivors

A complex combination of psychological, cultural, religious, familial and economic factors contribute to a victim's decision to remain in or leave an abusive relationship. Behind fear, domestic violence survivors often cite income, employment and financial stability as the strongest deterrents to leaving abusive situations. Survivors often endure the devastation of leaving behind a home, income, benefits and economic security - regardless of their education, professional skills and earning potential - when leaving an abusive situation. The path to safety and security is often profoundly challenging.

The struggles of survivors of domestic violence for economic empowerment reverberate throughout every community. Survivors and current victims of domestic violence are over-represented among people in poverty. Many women and children are homeless because of domestic violence.[19]

Research shows that women with economic skills are more likely to leave abusive situations and sustain themselves and their families in the long-run.[20] Until recently, few national resources addressed the range of economic stability challenges confronting victims. The Allstate Foundation is taking action. The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program provides financial knowledge and skills to empower survivors of domestic violence.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline to get support and discuss your options at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TYY).

Contact Information

To learn more about The Allstate Foundation, visit allstate.com/foundation. For more information on The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program, visit ClickToEmpower.org or contact:

The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program:

For information regarding grant availability:
Madeline Halperin-Robinson
847.402.7586
mhalp@allstate.com

 

If you are a survivor of domestic violence or are currently experiencing domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline to receive support and discuss your options at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TYY).

 

[1] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice; U.S. Department of Justice - Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence; July 2000

[2] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Costs of intimate partner violence against women in the United States; April 2003

[3] National Domestic Violence Hotline; Fact sheet on Domestic Violence and Special Populations; www.ndvh.org/dvInfo.html#spec

[4] National Network to End Domestic Violence; Communities Across the Nation, Lack of Funding for Services for Abused Women and Children; 2004

[5] National Network to End Domestic Violence; Communities Across the Nation; 2004

[6] The Allstate Foundation "Crisis: Economics and Domestic Violence" poll, May 2009

[7] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Costs; April 2003

[8] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Costs; April 2003

[9] American Institute on Domestic Violence; 2001

[10] National Center on Women & Family Law; Battered Women: The Facts; 1996

[11] The United States Conference of Mayors; A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities; December 1999

[12] Matthew R.Durose et al., U.S. Dep't. of Justice, Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances 1, June 2005

[13] Stephan S.Owen & Tod W. Burke, An Exploration of the Prevalence of Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships, 95 Psychological Reports, Aug. 2004

[14] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice; U.S. Department of Justice - Extent; July 2000

[15] Murphy Marketing Research, The Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, June 2006

[16] The Allstate Foundation "Crisis: Economics and Domestic Violence" poll, May 2009

[17] Murphy Marketing Research, The Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence, June 2006

[18] Unless otherwise noted, National Network to End Domestic Violence

[19] The United States Conference of Mayors; Hunger and Homelessness; December 1999

[20] "Integrating Asset-Building Strategies into Domestic Violence Advocacy," Clearinghouse Review, Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, July-August 2009 rpt. in Deborah K. Anderson & Daniel G. Saunders, "Leaving an Abusive Partner: An Empirical Review of Predictors, the Process of Leaving, and the Psychological Well-being," 4 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 163 (2003); Ola W. Barnett, "Why Battered Women Do Not Leave: Part 1: External Inhibiting Factors Within Society, 1 Trauma, Violence, & Abuse" 343 (2000)