Reprinted from the September / October 2013 issue of “Christian Woman” Magazine.
“I didn’t mean that.”
“Please forgive me.”
Words of apology are more easily spoken when we say and do things that are less than kind to those we love – especially to a spouse. Sadly, such words ring hollow for the victims of domestic violence. To them, hearing “I’m sorry,” means, “This will happen again,” and is often followed by “You made me hurt you.”
NBC News Health aired a report in June about the first systematic study of available data concerning assaults against women. The report showed that globally, 30 percent of all women aged 15 and older have suffered intimate partner violence which includes physical and sexual attacks. Nationwide, more than 1.5 million women have been victims of physical assault, and one in four will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. The actual numbers of physical and sexual assault against women are likely higher than the report found, because women are often reluctant to report or admit such crimes.
In addition to physical and sexual attacks by intimate partners, women face other forms of intimidation from partners who can be equally controlling. Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence based in Denver, said, “What is important to notice about this report: there’s a whole other layer of violence that happens that isn’t physical – emotional, economic, verbal, stalking, threats with weapons – that would raise those numbers exponentially.” Smith added that she wasn’t surprised by the percentages revealed in the study.