October is Domestic Violence Month - 2020

We feel safer when we think domestic violence happens somewhere else to someone else. In reality domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. 

Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors – including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion – used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.​

Survivors of domestic violence are among the most vulnerable clients served by Legal Aid of Western Missouri. With Legal Aid's assistance, domestic violence survivors are able to achieve physical safety and financial security. With this support, survivors are more likely to leave their abusers and have the personal and financial capacity to establish a life free from abuse.


  • Domestic violence issues lead to nearly 8 million lost days of paid work each year, the equivalent of over 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%. More than half of women killed by gun violence are killed by family members or intimate partners.
  • 23% of domestic violence victims attempt suicide.
  • Nearly 50% of domestic violence survivors will not leave an abusive situation without their beloved pet. Often the abuser will threaten to harm the pet as a means of control.
  • The danger of violence escalates when an individual attempts to leave an abusive relationship. Safety plans help survivors anticipate dangers and include suggestions for increasing safety both while in the relationship and after the relationship is over.
  • 90% of children exposed to domestic violence actually witnessed the violence, as opposed to hearing it or other indirect forms.

*Rose Brooks Center and National Domestic Violence Hotline

Reprinted from Legal Aid of Western Missouri October 2020 newsletter.

Posted: October 15, 2020