By Julieta Barcaglioni, Greenville Shelter Counselor, Safe Harbor
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of physical, psychological or sexual abuse, threats, intimidation, isolation or economic coercion used by one person to exert power and control over another person in the context of an intimate relationship.
Domestic violence is a devastating reality in our communities and in our world today. Domestic violence affects 1 in every 4 women in the United States. A case is reported every minute in this country, and it is estimated that a woman is abused every 9 seconds. Also, statistics show that domestic violence is the main cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
Domestic violence is just as serious and prevalent in the Hispanic community as it is with other racial and ethnic groups. Like other victims, Hispanic victims face important internal and external barriers to leave an abusive relationship. These barriers include: hope that the abuser will change or that the abuse will stop, embarrassment or shame, financial dependence on the abuser, fear of emotional and physical retaliation if they leave, lack of supportive relationships, hopelessness, and guilt – among many others.