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Scary statistics about domestic violence in the state

Here in Massachusetts, almost one out of every three women has been victimized by an intimate partner -- by stalking, rape or other types of physical violence. Almost half of the female residents of the state and a quarter of the men have experienced sexual assaults that stopped short of rape.

State officials do recognize the crisis, as eight years ago, they declared domestic violence to be a public health emergency. In just one day, 1,795 individuals who were abused by their partners received services related to the abuse through state-sponsored programs designed to assist domestic violence victims.

In the nine years between 2003 and 2012, there were 266 lives lost to intimate partner homicides, while 74 perpetrators of domestic violence homicides were killed.

The problem is pervasive and extends all over the nation. On any given day, 21,000 calls are made to domestic violence hotlines all over the nation, roughly 15 calls per minute.

Violence between intimate partners makes up 15 percent of all violent crimes in the United States, and when there is a gun in the home when an incident of domestic violence takes place, the risk of murder rises by 500 percent. Almost three-quarters of the total homicide-suicides involve a spouse or intimate partner, with 94 percent of victims being women.

Because the problem is so severe and tends to escalate in severity, it is always a major red flag when a relationship turns violent. If you are being victimized by spousal abuse, help is available to you. To learn more, contact a family law attorney or call a domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "Domestic Violence in Massachusetts," accessed July 15, 2016

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