You know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but do you really know what domestic violence is?  No judgment here. Now is the perfect time to learn.
 
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behaviors, used by an individual to gain or maintain power and control over another person in the context of an intimate or dating relationship.
 
Domestic Violence is a problem.
 
Although domestic violence affects people of all income levels, people with lower annual income (below $25,000) are three times more likely to be a victim of intimate partner violence than people with higher annual income (over $50,000).  When you factor in that a family must earn an annual income of $69,240 to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Fairfax county–leaving an abuser, becoming a single parent household, while being low income may be a choice between homelessness and abuse.  That reality is not theoretical: Forty-nine percent of all persons in families were experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence during the point in time survey in 2016.
 
Domestic Violence is a housing problem.
 
Almost 1/3 of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner. On average, more than 3 women and 1 man are murdered by their intimate partners in the U.S. every day. In Fairfax County, domestic violence is the leading cause of homicide. Eighty-one percent of women who experienced rape, stalking, or physical violence by an intimate partner reported significant short or long-term impacts, such as post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and injury. Thirty-five percent of men report such impacts of their experiences.
 
Domestic Violence is a public health problem.
 
Domestic violence occurs between people of all ages, races, ethnicities, socio-economic, educational and religious backgrounds, in heterosexual and same-sex relationships, living together or separately, married or unmarried, with or without children. Domestic violence is typically not acute and not exclusively physical violence.  This type of relationship is about maintaining an imbalance of power through any means including physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions.
 
Domestic Violence is our problem.
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