Who are the usual victims of domestic violence?
The vast majority of domestic violence—85%—is heterosexual, male on female violence. However, domestic violence touches everyone, regardless of sex, age, economic class, race or sexual identity.
Why doesn’t she leave?
Most victims don’t necessarily want the relationship to end, they want the violence to stop. There are a number of reasons women remain in or return to abusive relationships; many have to do with economics, children and other barriers leaving presents. A combination of these barriers and fear may keep a woman trapped in the relationship. Leaving an abusive relationship is a process, not an event. It takes time for victims to examine their options and make plans for their escape.
Ironically, the most dangerous time for a battered woman is after she has left the relationship. Most homicides of battered women and the most serious injuries to battered women occur when she is seeking help or she has left the relationship
Is domestic violence caused by substance abuse?
Alcohol and other drugs such as marijuana, depressants, anti-depressants, or anti-anxiety drugs do not cause non-violent persons to become violent. Many people use or abuse those drugs without ever battering their partners. Research indicates that the pattern of controlling behavior that is domestic violence is not caused by those particular chemicals, although alcohol and other drugs may be used as an excuse for the battering.
On the other hand, there seems to be contradictory evidence whether certain drugs (PCP, speed, cocaine or "crack") chemically react within the brain to cause violent behavior or whether they induce paranoia or psychosis, which is then accompanied by violent behavior. Further research is needed to explore the cause-and-effect relationship between those drugs and violence.
While the presence of alcohol or drugs should not be considered an excuse for violence, it is relevant to the assessment of lethality and safety planning. The use of, or addiction to, substances may increase the lethality of certain episodes of domestic violence.
Where can I find information about the laws surrounding domestic violence?
For more information on domestic violence laws in Connecticut, refer to the Guide to Connecticut’s Family Violence Laws.
Many domestic violence victims never seek help. Why is that?
One of the most important reasons abuse victims may choose not to come forward is that the weeks immediately after leaving an abusive relationship are an extremely dangerous time. People tend to think that once a woman has left the abusive situation, she’s going to be safe. In fact, incidents of stalking, battering and fatal attacks increase during that time. Victims are aware of this danger—they don’t need statistics to tell them that they are taking a huge risk in seeking help.
Where can I get help and advice?
You can find help by contacting any of the agencies listed in the About CCADV section under Our Members.