In 1991, the Legislature found and declared that domestic violence is a serious crime against society. It found that thousands of persons in this State were regularly beaten, tortured and in some cases killed by their spouses or cohabitants; that a significant number of women were assaulted while pregnant; that victims of domestic violence came from all social and economic backgrounds; that there is a positive correlation between spousal abuse and child abuse and, that children, even if they are not themselves physically assaulted, suffer deep and lasting emotional effects from exposure to domestic violence. The Legislature further found that some of its most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and disabled, are victims of domestic violence as well.
The Legislature also found that although many of the existing criminal statutes were applicable to acts of domestic violence, societal attitudes concerning domestic violence have affected the response of the law enforcement and judicial systems resulting that these acts received different treatment from similar crimes when they occur in a domestic violence context. The Legislature additionally identified the training needs of police and judicial personnel in the procedure and enforcement of this act.
(Above Excerpt from The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq.)
Did You Know?
One in every four women….
- Will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
- An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
85% of domestic violence victims are women.
- Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
- Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
- Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police
CHILDREN WHO WITNESS
- Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
- Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
- 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.
SEXUAL ASSAULT AND STALKING
- One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape.
- Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
- Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of battering relationships.
- 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked in their lifetime.
- 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner; 31% are also sexually assaulted by that partner.
HOMICIDE AND INJURY
- Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
- In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
- Less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury.
- Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.
- The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
- Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence.
- There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion.
(Above Excerpt taken from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Domestic Violence Fact Sheet)
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