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Violence Against Women Has Focused on Strangers, but Ignores the Threat at Home

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  • Tip Bones

If you’ve been on Twitter today, you probably know that November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. To me, the day brings to mind all of the defense advice I have ever received, and continue to receive:

Never leave your drink unattended. Walk to your car with a buddy. Don’t wear short skirts or low cut tops. Never walk alone at night.

You don’t even have to be a woman to know that this advice gets dished out daily by well-meaning friends and loved ones. But I can’t help but notice, this advice is meant to protect us from attacks from strangers. It says very little about how to prevent abuse by an intimate partner. In fact, according to the World Health organization (WHO), 30% of women worldwide who have been in a relationship have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner at some point in their lives, and 35% of women worldwide have experienced sexual violence from any abuser. So the famous 1-in-3 statistic is absolutely correct, and doesn’t even account for violence that goes unreported!

These attacks often go unreported because of fear, and that goes double for an attack perpetrated by a partner. So just because a woman doesn’t jump on the #metoo train, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a story.

What do you think? Is it easier or harder to report domestic violence? Do we have adequate support in place to prevent domestic violence against women? Could we do better at providing resources for victims? Sound off in the comments!

Photo: UN Women/Marni Gilbert. CC by SA2.0