“One in five children is killed in the U.S. because of domestic violence” by carlos matÍAS
“Every day, eight children and teens are injured or killed in a family altercation in the United States. A 2019 study of child homicides between 2005 and 2014 found that 20.2% were killed in cases of intimate partner violence. Of this 20.2%, 54.3% were killed when the perpetrator intended to kill their partner,” according to data presented by Shikha Hamilton, interim vice president of United Against Gun Violence, at a March 4 Ethnic Media Services video conference.
Some 4.6 million children in the United States live in homes with access to a firearm, unlocked or unsupervised. Seventy-five percent of them know where the gun is kept and one in five have handled it in the absence of an adult. Accidental shooting deaths of children handling a gun increased 31% during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the previous year.
Family and domestic violence affects an estimated ten million people each year in the United States and produces lifelong physical and emotional scars. Children are witnesses in nearly one in four cases filed in state courts (22%). For Dr. LaTonya Wood, Director of Clinical Training in Psychiatry at Pepperdine (California), who also spoke at the Ethnic Media Services videoconference, these children “have nightmares; wet their beds; suffer from anxiety; are afraid to leave their mother or father alone, because of what might happen; have low self-esteem; feel anger; and are more likely to be violent in adulthood.”
Also, one in ten high school students has experienced physical violence from a partner in the past year, according to the Domestic Violence Hotline.
One in three Latinas has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. Latinas experience the highest rate of domestic violence femicides of any racial or ethnic group. The homicide rate for Native American women is ten times the national average.
Femicide is the leading cause of death among Black women ages 14 to 45. Black women are also twice as likely to be murdered by their spouse as white women. Between 2004 and 2014, nearly 58% of Asian femicide victims over the age of 18 were killed by intimate partner violence. Also speaking at the Ethnic Media Services videoconference was Leiana Kinnicutt, director of the Future Without Guns Program in Salem, Massachusetts. “Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of violent crime. More than 20 people are abused by their partners every minute.”
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