1. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought increases in and intensities of domestic violence patterns. Abusers are more violent and with lockdowns and physical restrictions have more access to their victims than ever before. #KeepDVSurvivorsSafe
2. Gun purchases have increased this year due to the pandemic. But more guns don’t mean more safety. In fact, for DV victims, they mean escalated danger because having access to a gun increases the risk of intimate partner homicide by at least 400%. #DisarmDV #DVFacts
3. In preparation for 2020’s Domestic VIolence Awareness Month, NCADV released the #PowerUp toolkit and introduced the “Iceberg of Domestic Violence,” which demonstrates the different overt and covert ways that abusers, bystanders, communities, systems, and cultural influences can take to shape our society’s understanding of intimate partner violence.
4. While domestic violence occurs in all communities, it occurs at higher rates in some specific populations. Black people experience higher rates of domestic violence compared to other racial and ethnic groups. NCADV has centered this conversation this year, making it a critical conversation at our 2020 conference as well as hosting a free webinar to continue the conversation. #BlackLivesMatter #DVFacts
5. Another group disproportionately impacted by domestic violence are Native / Tribal communities. Over 84% of Native women experience violence, and on some U.S. reservations, the murder rate of Native women is 10 times higher than in the rest of the nation. #MMIW #DVFacts
6. In early 2019, the landmark legislation Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expired and has remained unauthorized since. A survivor-centric bill, H.R. 1585, passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan basis but has stalled in the Senate. It is critical for survivors and victims nationwide that Congress reauthorizes VAWA with necessary enhancements for safety and protection. #VAWA4All
7. Eighteen months ago, NCADV published a blog post titled “Domestic Violence and the LGBTQ Community” detailing how same-sex partners are vulnerable to intimate partner violence, unique elements of abuse in same-sex couples (e.g. threatening to out a partner) and the struggle for some LGBTQ survivors to access support systems (e.g. fear of homophobia from service provider). It has since become NCADV’s most popular and most-read blog post of all time. #DVFacts
8. People with disabilities are another group of people who are particularly vulnerable to experiencing violence compared to their able-bodied peers. For example, people with disabilities are three times as likely to experience sexual assault as their peers without disabilities. Moreover, domestic violence can look differently for a victim with a disability. Examples: an abuser can withhold medication, physically harm a service animal and deprive a victim of necessary physical accommodations as part of their pattern of power and control. NCADV teamed up with Barrier Free Living to host a webinar exploring this intersection as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people with a diability who are also experiencing intimate partner violence. #DVFacts
9. When the Senate recently released its appropriations bills, NCADV learned of a massive 40% cut to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) on top of 25% cut the previous year, meaning if the Senate gets its way, VOCA victim service grants will have been cut 81% from FY ‘18 levels.
How did we get here? VOCA is funded by monetary penalties from federal criminal prosecutions, and prosecutors are increasingly entering into deferred prosecutions and non-prosecution agreements instead.
What’s the solution? Congress must shore up the Crime Victims Fund by ensuring federal financial penalties from deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements are treated the same way as penalties resulting from criminal convictions.
NCADV is actively working with constituents and Capitol Hill to ensure this “VOCA fix” is included in the omnibus appropriations bill Congress needs to pass.
10. Did you know that 1 in 15 children in the U.S. witness intimate partner violence? This means more than 5 million kids experience domestic violence every year. These children are at greater risk of serious adult health problems than other children who didn’t witness violence and are three times as likely as their peers to engage in violent behavior. #DVFacts
11. Transgender individuals may suffer from an even greater burden of intimate partner violence than gay or lesbian individuals. Transgender victims of IPV are more likely to experience threats or intimidation, harassment, and police violence within intimate partner violence. Transgender victims can also experience unique forms of abuse -- As examples; abusers using offensive pronouns, ridiculing the victims identity, etc. #DVFacts
12. When NCADV first introduced the #SurvivorSpeaks hashtag, we hoped it would give a space to victims and survivors of domestic violence to share about their experiences with domestic violence. NCADV honors every survivor’s story and the hashtag reflects a diversity of experiences when it comes to voices and experiences of domestic violence.