Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviors and tactics used by one person over another to gain power and control. This may include verbal abuse, financial abuse, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. Domestic violence occurs in heterosexual, as well as same-sex partnerships, and crosses all ethnic, racial and socio-economic lines.

Domestic Violence Facts:

  • 95% of Domestic Violence victims are women (U.S. Department of Justice).
  • Over three million women are battered each year (FBI 1990).
  • The Surgeon General has declared Domestic Violence as the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44; more than rapes, muggings, and car accidents combined.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites that a woman is in nine times more danger in her own home than on the street
  • Nearly one-third of all women murdered in the US in 1998 were killed by a current or former intimate partner; guns were used in almost two-thirds of the homicides (Homicide Trends in the US, 2001).
  • Thirty-seven percent of all women who sought emergency room treatment for violence-related injuries were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend (US Department of Justice, 1998).
  • Between twelve percent and thirty-five percent of teenagers have experienced some form of violence - from pushing and shoving to hitting - in a dating relationship (Simon and Golden, 1997).

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 for the police to come to your aid.

To talk with someone about your options, call SafeLink at 1-877-785-2020 or TTY 1-877-785-2020. SafeLink is a 24-hour, free and multi-lingual hotline for programs in Massachusetts.

For additional information regarding domestic violence and sexual assault, please go to Jane Doe, Inc - The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

To find the domestic violence program nearest you outside of Massachusetts, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233).