Intimate Partner/Domestic Violence (IPV)

More than one-third of women aged 18 and over in the U.S. were subjected to physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking by a current or former intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) estimates that 37.7% of Pennsylvania women, or 1.9 million women, have experience…

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2,340 Intimate Partner Homicides in 2007

Intimate partner violence is often fatal. For example, stalking, which involves unwanted repeated harassing or threatening conduct that causes fear in a reasonable person, often escalates over time and may become violent and ultimately lethal. There were 2,340 intimate partner homicides in 2007. 70% of the victims were female. Women are more often killed by someone they know: in 2007, 64% of the female homicide victims were killed by a family member or intimate partner. An additional 25% of the female homicide victims were killed by other individuals they knew, and approximately 10% were murdered by a stranger. SOLUTIONS Take Action Contact Your Elected Representatives Pressure on politicians matters. Find your state representative – click here Find your congressional representative – click here Become a County Leader Take the lead in your community. Check out these resources to learn more about the gender wage gap Through the Lens of Equality: Eliminating Sex Bias to Improve the Health of Pennsylvania’s Women (2012) Women’s Law Project (WLP) Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Where Does Pennsylvania Stand? Women’s Law Project (WLP) Title IX Requirements Not...

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Increased Screening at Pediatric Emergency Centers

Health care providers should routinely assess for IPV. In addition to hospitals, obstetrics and gynecology offices, and primary care practices, there may also be opportunities for increased screening at pediatric emergency centers of adults who seek treatment for their children, to determine whether the adults have experienced IPV. IPV victims are more likely to seek medical care for their children than they are for themselves. SOLUTIONS Take Action Contact Your Elected Representatives Pressure on politicians matters. Find your state representative – click here Find your congressional representative – click here Become a County Leader Take the lead in your community. Check out these resources to learn more about the gender wage gap Through the Lens of Equality: Eliminating Sex Bias to Improve the Health of Pennsylvania’s Women (2012) Women’s Law Project (WLP) Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Where Does Pennsylvania Stand? Women’s Law Project (WLP) Title IX Requirements Not...

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1.9 Million Women, Have Experienced IPV

The NISVS estimates that 37.7% of PA women, or 1.9 million women, have experienced IPV. Almost 20% of PA women, or 977K, are estimated to be victims of stalking. These numbers are estimates because currently, the Commonwealth does not collect data on the number of PA individuals victimized by IPV. Data from the number of individuals who obtain assistance from IPV programs does not accurately reflect the number of abused women because it is estimated that only one in six victims of IPV receives services from a domestic violence service provider. Many victims are not aware of the existence of free services. Additionally, many victims do not report incidences of IPV because they view IPV as a private family matter, believe the situation will improve without intervention, fear retaliation if they seek intervention, are concerned the police will not believe them or protect them, or fear loss of custody of their children. All of these factors hinder victims of IPV from seeking assistance. SOLUTIONS Take Action Contact Your Elected Representatives Pressure on politicians matters. Find your state representative – click here Find your congressional representative – click here Become a County Leader Take the lead in your community. Check out these resources to learn more about the gender wage gap Through the Lens of Equality: Eliminating Sex Bias to Improve the Health of Pennsylvania’s Women (2012) Women’s Law Project (WLP) Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Where Does Pennsylvania Stand? Women’s Law Project (WLP) Title IX Requirements Not...

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Prevent Cycle of Violence

Children who witness IPV are more likely to be abused themselves. More than 50% of households affected by violence between intimate partners include children under the age of twelve. The children may be physically injured in the course of violence directed toward their mothers. Witnessing IPV causes emotional distress, behavioral problems, and physical health problems for children. Studies show strong correlations between childhood exposure to violence at home and post-traumatic stress symptoms, as well as various health problems, such as asthma and gastrointestinal problems. If there is no adequate intervention, research shows that these children are at risk of repeating the violence in their intimate relationships as adults. Intervention is necessary in order to prevent this cycle of violence from occurring. SOLUTIONS Take Action Contact Your Elected Representatives Pressure on politicians matters. Find your state representative – click here Find your congressional representative – click here Become a County Leader Take the lead in your community. Check out these resources to learn more about the gender wage gap Through the Lens of Equality: Eliminating Sex Bias to Improve the Health of Pennsylvania’s Women (2012) Women’s Law Project (WLP) Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Where Does Pennsylvania Stand? Women’s Law Project (WLP) Title IX Requirements Not...

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Subjected to “Reproductive Coercion”

The health consequences of IPV are severe and devastating. IPV is reported to be one of the most common causes of injury to women, with injuries to the head, face, neck, thorax, breasts and abdomen occurring more often in battered women than in other women. Hospital emergency rooms see many of the short term effects, though patients often do not identify the injuries as due to domestic violence and medical professionals often do not adequately screen for domestic violence. Women who experience sexual assault as well as physical abuse experience 40-45% more health issues than women who experience physical abuse alone. IPV victims may also be subjected to “reproductive coercion,” which includes forcing a partner to engage in unwanted sexual acts, intentionally transmitting STIs, sabotaging birth control to impregnate a partner against her will, and controlling the outcomes of a partner’s pregnancy. Ultimately, IPV victims may experience life-long psychological trauma stemming from abuse. SOLUTIONS Take Action Contact Your Elected Representatives Pressure on politicians matters. Find your state representative – click here Find your congressional representative – click here Become a County Leader Take the lead in your community. Check out these resources to learn more about the gender wage gap Through the Lens of Equality: Eliminating Sex Bias to Improve the Health of Pennsylvania’s Women (2012) Women’s Law Project (WLP) Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Where Does Pennsylvania Stand? Women’s Law Project (WLP) Title IX Requirements Not...

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Solutions for Intimate Partner/Domestic Violence

To effectively combat epidemic rates of domestic violence in the U.S., an integrated response system and services infrastructure is required. Behavioral and Physical Health Care Victims of intimate partner violence in all 67 PA counties should have access to IPV services in health care settings. This includes trauma-informed care. Health care providers should routinely assess for IPV, including increased screening at pediatric emergency centers of adults who seek treatment for their children, to determine whether adults have experienced IPV. IPV victims are more likely to seek medical care for their children than they are for themselves. Courts Judges, court personnel, and mental health professionals should be educated about domestic violence and stalking and the importance of addressing victim and child safety in protection from abuse (PFA) and custody determinations. Access to legal assistance for victims of intimate partner violence should be increased. PA must increase and expand court-sponsored assistance for those representing themselves (“pro se litigants”), beyond the assistance courts may currently provide at intake. Law Enforcement The Pennsylvania State Police should include domestic violence and stalking education in its annual training. Currently, this training is not required. Better training on these issues sensitizes officers to the obstacles IPV and stalking victims face, helping them respond appropriately, so as to protect victims and increase the safety of the community. Police response to IPV must be improved and myths and biases that deter appropriate police response must be eliminated. Government Both the U.S. government and the Pennsylvania state government should enact legislation to prohibit the eviction from or denial of public housing based on a victim’s history of domestic violence. Services       Pennsylvania should increase funding for IPV services. The availability, early use, and quality of batterer treatment programs should be expanded and improved. Research should be pursued to determine which models are most effective to reduce battering. Pennsylvania should institute statewide domestic violence data collection. PA does not currently collect data on number of incidences and medical visits related to domestic violence. Employment Pennsylvania should enact legislation to provide paid leave for victims of IPV and stalking and mandate other employer protections in the workplace. Community PA should adopt coordinated local response approaches to IPV statewide. This means the integration of law enforcement, advocates, health care providers, social services, employers and schools. This system will work better and faster for...

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