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Battered Women

Attention to battered women has only come to the foreground in the past few decades. This could be in part to the women’s movement of the 1960s, the influx of educational information through television and computers, or the willingness by authorities to step into a domestic violence situation.

Many battered women do not report the abuse. Battered women often don't report the abuse because of psychological and sociological pressures. Psychologically a battered woman may start to believe that she is not worthy or capable of being on her own. After enduring emotional and psychological abuse, a battered woman may begin to think that she is incapable of making good judgments and that she cannot survive without the presence of her abuser.

Many battered women are conditioned to believe that their abuser is more powerful than any law agency. The fear of their abusers may keep them from reporting the crimes against them. A battered woman may fear the anger of her abuser toward her or her children if he “catches” her once she has reported the crime and left the residence. Battered women may also fear leaving their abusive partners for fear of not being able to adequately provide for their children.

There are many myths attached to the subject of battered women. Many individuals believe that battered women are small in stature, poverty stricken, uneducated, mentally impaired, or deeply religious. This is not true. Battered women come from all walks of life and from all economic backgrounds. Domestic violence crosses all race, religious, ethnic and educational levels. Research indicates that about 50 percent of all women will be victims of some form of domestic violence at some time in their lives.

Battered women may be subject to other forms of abuse besides physical abuse. Battered women can be psychologically and emotionally abused, economically and financially abused, as well as sexually abused by their partners.

Help for Battered Women

If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. They will direct you to places in your area where you can seek help.

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