Abuse Is Rampant

By: Steven R. Tracy

It is hard to fathom the pervasiveness of abuse, but this a tragic reality. For instance:

  • Childhood trauma, particularly that involving abuse and neglect, is probably the most important public health challenge in the United Sates (Psychiatric Annals, 2005)
  • In 2003 over 900,000 children were found to be victims of abuse or neglect (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services). Since the vast majority of abuse is not reported, this is most likely only the tip of the iceberg
  • One of the largest, most respected studies of college women found that 64% of the women had experienced some form of sexual victimization since the age of 14, and 54% had experienced some form of sexual victimization the previous year (Mary Koss, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology)
  • 20% of high school girls report being physically or sexually assaulted by a male partner, (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001)
  • It is estimated that 20% of women will be sexually assaulted during their four years of college (U.S. Department of Justice, 2000)
  • According to the Surgeon General, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages fifteen to forty-five, more than traffic accidents, muggings, and cancer deaths combined (Journal of the American Medical Association)
  • According to research by the World Health Organization, violence against women world wide is “shockingly common” and is one of the leading factors in female injury, death, and poor health world wide.
  • In the past decade the Congo (DRC) has experienced more conflict related deaths (roughly four million in the past decade) than any other country since WW2. Women there have also experienced some of the most brutal and rampant rapes (estimated at 40,000)