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"I've seen women go a week with a serious injury before getting help," shares the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence's Deborah Tucker. Many fear triggering an attacker's anger or having a plan to flee foiled.
And it's no wonder: "Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time during the relationship," the Domestic Violence Intervention Program reports.
Each year, 10 million children are exposed to domestic violence — which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared a "serious, preventable public health problem" — according to The Center for Women and Families.
And of the 1 in 15 kids exposed to it, a heartbreaking 90% are eyewitnesses, who will feel the effect of it for their entire lives.
"We haven't shifted the behaviors toward it that convey it's okay to beat up your girlfriend." (In fact, almost 1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner, The Center for Women and Families has found).
The key, Sanchez adds, is changing people's attitudes: "People need to understand that it is everybody's business — not just that of the cops, the judges alone.
The Horrific Reality- Good Housekeeping.com" data-pin-url=" data-pin-media=" data-img320=" data-img320-w = "480" data-img320-h = "240" data-cut=320 data-zoom=" src="//ghk.h-cdn.co/assets/goodhousekeeping/20171220185036/images/blank.png" data-src=" alt="domestic violence statistics 9 seconds" data-img480=" data-img480-w = "640" data-img480-h = "320" data-img640=" data-img640-w = "768" data-img640-h = "384" data-img768=" data-img768-w = "980" data-img768-h = "490" data-img980=" data-img980-w = "768" data-img980-h = "384" data-img1024=" data-img1024-w = "980" data-img1024-h = "490" nopin="nopin" /"Domestic violence is an epidemic, no matter what statistic you look at, yet as a society we often close our eyes to it," Amy Sanchez, director of Break The Cycle, an organization on the NO MORE steering committee, tells Good "If we had a health issue that we knew was affecting millions of people, we'd work together to figure it out, like with what's been done to address smoking and heart disease.
And for the half of women who manage to leave abusive partners, it's no easy feat.We all have an obligation to take this on." Pointing to the shifts that she says our culture has seen towards smoking and recycling in recent decades, "Thirty years ago, it was culturally appropriate to smoke wherever you were, at home, on the job," explains Sanchez. Growing up, I remember we didn't think twice about throwing garbage out the window of a moving car on the highway.