Did you know that nearly half of all incidents of domestic abuse go unreported each year? With 243 million women and girls experiencing intimate partner violence, nearly 100 million will stay silent. Why are so many incidents not being reported? There are many reasons why a victim may choose not to report abuse, and there are many ways you can help those who have yet to make a report.
One of the most prominent reasons some victims choose not to report their abuse is a direct result of the abuse they experience. Many abusers make their victims feel isolated and make it so they feel that no one will believe them. This can make victims feel embarrassed or shameful and lead to them staying quiet. Some victims may also choose not to report due to fear of their abuser. Their abuser may make physical threats to them that will scare victims enough to stay with them.
Threats from abusers can extend past the victims themselves. Some victims may choose to not report incidents of violence due to threats made towards their loved ones, children, and even pets. 71% of women in domestic violence shelters have had their abuser threaten, injure, or kill a pet as a means of control. These threats can frighten a victim enough to stay with an abuser, and some women even return to abusers after they leave due to this fear of their pets.
If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic abuse and feel as though you can’t report it to local authorities, there are other options available. You can visit a local shelter or call the national domestic violence hotline. You can also check a local service provider directory for more resources. Take a look at the infographic below for more information on how to find resources if you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence.