Even though nearly 300 million women and girls experience intimate partner violence each year, only half of domestic abuse incidents get reported. There are many reasons as to why domestic abuse goes unreported, and even if a victim chooses to not report their abuse, they still need the same resources as people who do report their abuse.
Many victims feel too embarrassed to report their abuse. They often fear that they won’t be believed or they will be looked down on because they were abused. Sometimes the psychological impact of abuse makes victims less likely to report abuse and takes a toll on their sleep and mental health. Abusers often isolate their victims so that they feel like they have no one to turn to. They also tear down their victim’s sense of confidence and self esteem so it makes it harder for them to leave.
One of the most common reasons that victims of domestic abuse do not report incidents is because they are dependent on their abuser. Many times victims of domestic abuse are also minorities, sometimes immigrants who rely on their partner to sustain their citizenship. If a woman has children she may be hesitant to leave an abusive relationship if she cannot afford to support her children on her own. Abusers often know their victims are dependent on them, and sometimes they even force this dependence to make it harder for them to leave.
It is important to know that there are other choices. If you or someone you know is being abused by a partner, you can report it to a local precinct and take legal measures against the abuser. You can also call the national domestic violence hotline or visit their website to learn about resources closest to you. In any circumstance, if you are a victim of domestic violence, reach out to friends or family who may be able to help. If you know a friend or family member is being abused, offer you help so that they feel less alone. Learn more about how to find the right resources to help victims of domestic abuse in the infographic below: