Majority Of Women Fear Domestic Violence
Fully half (54%) of American women worry they or someone they know will be a victim of domestic violence. Younger women ages 18-29 are most worried, with more than two-thirds (68%) saying they are worried about this threat. Of these younger women, 36 percent say they are "very worried" and 32 percent say they are "somewhat worried."
In contrast, half (50%) of older women ages 30-70 say they are worried about domestic violence, with 23 percent of them saying they are "very worried" and 27 percent "somewhat worried."
These results are reported in a recent YWCA USA survey report, What Women Want: a National Survey of Priorities and Concerns, based on a telephone survey of 1,000 women ages 18-70 conducted on Oct. 28 - Nov. 2 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
Race is another factor that influences women's degree of concern about domestic violence. Six in 10 (60%) Black women say they worry about being a victim or knowing someone who is a victim of domestic violence, compared with 52 percent of White women. Further, 34 percent of Black women say they are "very worried" about domestic violence, compared with 23 percent of White women.
"These are truly frightening survey findings," said Lorraine Cole, PhD, YWCA USA's CEO. "That so many women live in such fear of domestic violence is shocking. I hope the new Obama administration will do everything to eliminate this scourge of domestic violence and work with us to make sure every woman is safe in her home and intimate relationships."
Statistics help explain women's anxiety. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1.3 million American women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year and among women who are murdered, one-third is killed by a current or former husband or boyfriend. Further, 19% of women raped each year are victimized by a current or former intimate partner. One million women are stalked each year. And one in 12 women will be stalked during their lifetime.
Other YWCA survey findings:
Two-thirds (66%) of all women and 73 percent of younger women say that addressing violence against women should be a top priority for President-elect Obama and Congress in the first year of the new administration. Most significant, eight in 10 Black women (83%) say violence against women should be a top priority.
Nearly one in five women (19%) considers violence against women the nation's most pressing public health issue. This health issue ranked third after access to affordable, quality health care (37%) and the number of women without health insurance (26%).