By Scott Blair
Domestic violence is defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.
The frequency and severity of domestic violence differs case by case; however, a constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
In the United States, an average of twenty people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than ten million abuse victims annually. Domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality and has immense consequences that last a lifetime.
However, not all of these forms of domestic violence, like threats and emotional abuse, can be punished. That makes it even more important to create awareness and advocate for domestic violence victims.
Domestic Violence Statistics in Texas
According to the latest statistics in the state of Texas, 40.1% of women and 34.9% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
A Deeper Look
- In 2019, 150 women in Texas were killed by a male intimate partner; one woman was killed by a same-sex partner; 31 men were killed by a female intimate partner; and three men were killed by a partner of the same sex.
- 63% percent of intimate partner homicides of women were committed by men, 68% of intimate partner homicides of men by women, and 50% of homicides by a same-sex partner were committed using firearms.
- 48% of victims seeking assistance were denied shelter due to lack of space, and there was a 28% increase over a nine-year period.
Domestic Violence in the Black Community
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, due to systemic racism, racist policies, and racist societal structures, both Black women and Black men experience intimate partner violence at a disproportionately high rate.
By intentionally denying Black people access to economic opportunities, the ability to build intergenerational wealth, healthcare, education, and a sense of safety from governmental systems, racist policies increase the prevalence of risk factors for domestic violence.
Numbers & Statistics
- 45.1% of Black women and 40.1% of Black men have experienced intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
- 31.8% of Black women and 16.8% of Black men have experienced one or more of the following intimate partner violence-related impacts: being fearful, concerned for safety, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, injury, need for medical care, housing services, victim advocate services, and/or legal services, missed at least one day of work or school, and have contacted a crisis hotline.
- 41.2% of Black women and 36.3% of Black men have experienced intimate partner physical violence in their lifetimes.
- 53.8% of Black women and 56.1% of Black men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
- 8.8% of Black women have been the victims of intimate partner rape in their lifetimes.
- 17.4% of Black women and 14.8% of Black men have experienced intimate partner sexual violence (other than rape) in their lifetimes.
- 9.5% of Black women have experienced intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
Katina Davis, a survivor of domestic abuse, says before domestic abusers physically hit or beat their partners, they often verbally demean you. They say things that make you feel like nothing — a form of abuse many victims may not even realize they are experiencing.
Ms. Davis suffered emotional abuse that later turned to physical abuse from her ex-partner — who is now locked up for violating a protective order. “At the time, I didn’t identify it as emotional abuse,” she says. “I thought we were just like any other couple. I didn’t really realize what was happening.”
Like many other survivors, she says emotional abuse is more dangerous than physical because “it feels like you’re going crazy.” Ms. Davis is part of a group of black survivors of domestic abuse who now support and help current victims. She points out that emotional abuse has no legal repercussions. “In some states, emotional abuse isn’t even a chargeable offense,” she says.
Davis states, “Emotional abuse … is worse than the physical and it leaves scars that you can’t see but they’ll always be there.”
Where to Get Help for Domestic Violence?
Many people are afraid to reach out when they’re in a relationship that involves domestic violence. However, it’s important to know that there are several places you can go for help and here they are:
Texas Council on Family Violence
Texas Council on Family Violence is dedicated to helping you find a local family violence program.
24-Hour Emergency Shelters
You can view 24-Hr Emergency Shelters in your area by clicking here.
List of Sexual Assault Crisis Centers
You can view a large list of Sexual Assault Programs and Crisis Centers in Texas here.
Texas Domestic Violence Help
There are 144 organizations in Texas that provide domestic violence services at some level.
When you click that link, you’ll find about 116 organizations that have provided complete information about their programs to the site for a statewide completion rate of 75%. These programs are available in 89 different cities.