Domestic abuse in Ventura County (Ventura County Bar Association, www.vcba.org)
Ventura County has one of the highest per capita rates of reported domestic abuse in the state, a rate more than double the state average. According to data from the California Department of Justice and US Census in 2013, there were 8.37 domestic violence related calls to police per 1,000 Ventura County residents, compared to a state average of 3.95. And this is not a recent development; reports of domestic violence in the county have been well above average for at least the past 10 years. On the positive side, since 2010, reported calls in Ventura County have dropped by 11 percent compared to a drop statewide of almost 6 percent.
Domestic Violence is the violence of silence, lets break the silence...
Ventura County has had 8,000 reported cases of domestic violencethis year, ranking it amongst the top in all of California when it comes to domestic violence rates. (Source: Camarillo Acorn, County’s domestic violence rate one of highest in California, November 28, 2014)
INCREASE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES SINCE 2012
According to the California Department of Justice, in 2012 there were roughly 7,500 reported cases of domestic violence in Ventura County. This year, the California Department of Justice has received 8,000 cases of domestic violence, and reports that 14% of Ventura County residents have reported some form of domestic violence in their homes. The state average is 6.7%.
According to local social workers and law enforcement officials, there are numerous reasons for the high rate of domestic violence cases
Erik Sternad is the director of Camarillo based nonprofit Interface Children and Family Services. He says that money woes, substance abuse, and emotional immaturity are all common triggers for domestic violence. “We do know that abuse stretches across socioeconomic lines, and we know it is usually behavior passed from parent to child,” he said. Victims also commonly do not have outside support to turn to, thus leaving abusers free to take control of a victim’s life.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNDERREPORTED
While Ventura County takes domestic violence seriously, incidents still go un-reported due to fear and lack of knowledge of outside sources such as outreach programs like Interface.
“Law enforcement in Ventura County takes domestic violence reports more seriously,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Frawley. “They follow up more than other counties. Even so, I think everybody can agree that domestic violence is still underreported.” Sternad agrees that educating the public is one way to cut down on domestic violence situations. “Interface uses outreach programs to help stop abuse before it happens,” he said, “and a school program is used to educate families that are at risk.”
“We are definitely seeing high levels of stress in families during the holidays,” he said. “This is really contributing to the abuse of children and spouses. Because of what we are seeing, we have doubled the amount of preventative education in schools, but funds are short.”
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN CALIFORNIA
40% of California women experience physical intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.i
In 2007, there were 174,649 domestic violence- related calls to law enforcement; many other incidents went unreported. 40% of reported incidents involved weapons.ii
Rape crisis centers served 31,790 survivors of sexual violence between 2011 and 2012 in Californiaiii
In a single day, domestic violence shelters served almost 5,800 women and children.iii
A forcible rape occurs every 56 minutes in California.iv
Between 2009 and 2011, while other types of homicides decreased, domestic violence fatalities in California increased by 11%. Domestic
violence homicides comprise 11.8% of all California homicides.v
DID YOU KNOW?
• 1in3womenand1in4menintheUnitedStates have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.vi
• On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, approximately 15 calls every minute.vii
• Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.viii
• The presence of a gun in the home during a domestic violence incident increases the risk of homicide by at least 500%.ix
• 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these crimes are female.
NATIONAL STATISTICS-(National Coalition Against Domestic Violence www.ncadv.org)
Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.12
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.1
1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.1
1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.1
On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.9
The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.10
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.2
Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.2
19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.2
Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.2
Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.2
1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime.1
Almost half of female (46.7%) and male (44.9%) victims of rape in the United States were raped by an acquaintance. Of these, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner.11
19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.1 60.8% of female stalking victims and 43.5% men reported being stalked by a current or former intimate partner.11
A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.3
72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.8
CHILDREN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.5
Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year.6
The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year.6
Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse.6
Between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser, 78% of women killed in the workplace during this timeframe.4
Women abused by their intimate partners are more vulnerable to contracting HIV or other STI’s due to forced intercourse or prolonged exposure to stress.7
Studies suggest that there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior.7
Physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health effects have been linked with intimate partner violence including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy in general, miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine hemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.