October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which often occurs in a relationship with an intimate partner. It can be difficult to spot. Many young people who are going through unhealthy or abusive situations in relationships may describe the situation as “drama.” They may even believe it's drama, but the facts are it could be much more than that.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health issue that has long-lasting individual, emotional and societal costs. Among IPV survivors, approximately 41% of female and 14% of male survivors experience some form of IPV-related physical injury. IPV can also extend beyond physical injury and result in death. Data from U.S. crime reports suggests that 16% (about 1 in 6) of homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner. The reports also found that nearly half of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by a current or former male intimate partner.
In addition, there are many negative physical health outcomes associated with IPV. These include a range of conditions affecting the heart, digestive, reproductive, muscle and bones, and nervous systems, many of which are chronic. Survivors may experience depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and are more likely to smoke, binge-drink and engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.
Although the personal consequences of IPV are devastating, there are also many costs to society. The lifetime economic cost associated with medical services for IPV-related injuries, lost productivity from paid work, criminal justice and other costs, was $3.6 trillion. The cost of IPV over a victim’s lifetime was $103,767 for women and $23,414 for men.
Everyone deserves a healthy relationship and to be treated with respect. Please connect anyone you know who might be experiencing IPV to resources below because things aren't always what you see. In addition to counseling, QCC offers mentors, tutors, a food pantry with curbside distribution, clubs, activities and many other ways to engage and get support.
- Title IX, Liz Woods: firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-854-2791
- Counseling Services, Tina Wells: email@example.com or 508-854-4479
- YWCA of Worcester: 508.755.9030
- Pathways for Change 800.870.5905
- Food Pantry, Counseling and more support services online here
Elizabeth A. Woods, Dean for Compliance and Education
Quinsigamond Community College