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Eliminating domestic violence is focus of 16-day global effort

Domestic violence is a matter of concern for everyone in Virginia. Victims of home abuse deserve all the protections that the law can provide, usually obtained through seeking a protective order from the courts.

At the same time, those charged with domestic violence face the very real threat of being barred from home and family relationships. Considering that law enforcement often tends to favor the victim over the accused, individuals charged need to seek experienced legal counsel to be sure their rights are vigorously protected.

We're highlighting this subject now because we are one week into a 16-day international effort to focus attention on domestic violence issues. 

It started on Nov. 25 with the United Nations' marking of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. All around the world, governments are raise awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence. The period is due to wrap up with the marking globally of Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

As part of the observations, here are a number of facts related to gender-based violence as assembled by the nonpartisan group Think Progress.

The World Health Organization describes violence against women as an issue of epidemic scale. One WHO report this year estimated that one-third of women around the world have been victims of sexual violence at some point in their lives. While statistics are offered only for violence against women, it must not be forgotten that men are sometimes the victims, too.

Intimate partner violence has long-term health implications. A recent survey by More Magazine and the Verizon Foundation supported the finding that those who survive domestic abuse tend to have higher rates of chronic conditions such as depression, asthma and diabetes.

The annual cost of domestic violence in the U.S. is more than $5 billion. The most significant cost factors of domestic violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are medical treatments for physical and mental trauma. But the CDC says it also costs the country more than $1 billion a year in lost productivity.

These bits of data combined make it easy to understand why U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said recently that, "Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity."

Source: ThinkProgress.org, "Five Facts To Remember On The UN’s International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women," Tara Culp-Ressler, Nov. 25, 2013

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