Domestic Violence Definitions
"Family Violence" is defined in the Texas Family Code (Section 71.004) as:
(1) An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself; (2) Abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or (3) Dating violence as defined by Section 71.0021.
"Dating Violence" is defined in the Texas Family Code (Section 71.0021) as:
(a) "Dating violence" means an act by an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has or has had a dating relationship and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. (b) For the purposes of this title, "dating relationship" means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of: 1. the length of the relationship; 2. the nature of the relationship; and 3. the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. (c) A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a "dating relationship" under Subsection (b).
The Texas Council on Family Violence defines "battering" as:
A pattern of coercive control that one person exercises over another. Battering is a behavior that physically harm, arouses fear, prevents a woman from doing what she wishes or forces her to behave in ways she does not want. Battering includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse, and economic deprivation.
National Expert on Family Violence, Barbara Hart, defines Domestic Violence as:
"Domestic violence involves a continuum of behaviors ranging from degrading remarks to cruel jokes, economic exploitation, punches and kicks, false imprisonment, sexual abuse, suffocating actions, maiming assaults, and homicide. Unchecked, domestic violence usually increases in frequency and severity. Many victims suffer all forms of abuse. Verbal and emotional abuse may be subtler than physical harm, but this does not mean that it is less destructive to victims. Many have said that the emotional scars take much longer to heal than the broken bones."
Domestic Violence Statistics
- Females ages 18-34 generally experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence.1
- On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S.2
- 1 in 4 women aged 18+ in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.3
- 30 to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.4
- Nearly 1 in 3 college women say they have been in an abusive dating relationship.5
- A survey of American employees found that 44% of full-time employed adults personally experiened domestic violence's effect in their workplaces, and 21% identified themselves as victims of intimate partner violence.6
- Nearly 8 million days of paid work each year is lost due to domestic violence issues--the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs.7
- Men exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or domestic violence as children are almost 4 times more likely than other men to perpetrate domestic violence as adults.8
8Whitfield, C.L., Anda, R.F., Dube, S.R., & Felitti, V.J. (2003). “Violent childhood experiences and the risk of intimate partner violence in adults.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 166-185.