|What are the types of violence against women?
Behaviors included in the broad category of violence against women include homicide, intimate partner abuse, psychological abuse, dating violence, same-sex violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, date rape, acquaintance rape, marital rape, stranger rape and economic abuse. The effects of this violence can negatively affect a womans reproductive health, as well as other aspects of her physical and mental well-being. Long-term risks include chronic pain, physical disability, drug and alcohol abuse and depression. Women with a history of physical or sexual abuse also have an increased risk for unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The vast majority of violence against females is perpetrated by males.
Are some women more at risk for physical assault than others?
Physical assault by someone known to the victim is a leading cause of injury to women. Nearly two million women are assaulted each year in the United States, and more than half of women will be physically assaulted during their lifetime. A large proportion of women (64 percent) reporting rape, physical assault and/or stalking, were victimized by a current or former partner.
Even pregnant women are not immune from physical violence inflicted by partners. Violence directed toward women by their partners during pregnancy affects as many as 324,000 annually.
Does risk for violence against women change with age?
Violence against females can begin as child abuse and continue throughout the lifespan.
Elder abuse, defined as the mistreatment of any person older than age 60 years of age, is quite common. Older females are victimized more often than men. In Illinois, although only 59 percent of the general population older than 60 are women, three of every four elder abuse victims are female. The most common victim of elder abuse is an older woman with a chronic illness or disability; the most common perpetrator is a spouse or another relative living with her. United States data shows that family members are the perpetrators of elder abuse 90 percent of the time. Abusers are adult children (47 percent), spouses (19 percent), other relatives (9 percent) and grandchildren (9 percent). Abusers are more likely to be male, even though the majority of caregivers to older adults are women. Elder abuse is quite clearly a family problem.
Is violence against women all that common?
Estimates of assaults on women by partners range from approximately 2 to 4 million per year. The Illinois State Police recorded 114,373 domestic violence offenses in 2000; 76 percent of these offenses involved assault/ battery charges. A total of 54,640 orders of protection were issued, with 4,574 of these orders being violated. About 25 percent of all hospital emergency department visits by women result from domestic assaults.
How can I support someone who has been physically or sexually assaulted?
More information about violence against women can be obtained by contacting:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Illinois Senior HelpLine
National Sexual Violence
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