Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention 

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The video below are just a few of the faces of domestic violence, and a story of survival and victory over it. A story like NO other that needs to be told and shared.

I Bet You Didn't Know....

October is ALSO domestic violence awareness month.  Since it shares the month with breast cancer awareness, domestic violence is sometimes overshadowed by many campaigns like early detection seminars, find a cure walks, and many survival stories.  For women, October is an important month.  Both breast cancer awareness and domestic violence awareness help educate women on ways to reduce their risks.

In 1995, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) convened several national domestic violence organizations - the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and later the National Network to End Domestic Violence - to launch a new effort to support domestic violence programs' awareness and education efforts for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), observed annually in October. The collaborative effort became the Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP).

In the United States, one in four women experience some type of abuse in her life.  Whether the abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or economic, this is an alarming statistic.  Most women do not report abuse, especially most physical or sexual assaults.  What is more alarming is that an intimate partner murders each year more than 1,200 women. 

It is time for those suffering abuse to speak out.  They need to realize that they are not the only ones who are in abusive relationships.  There are several resources  available to help end the cycle of domestic violence.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:

    * Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
    * Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
    * Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
    * Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
    * Does not want you to work.
    * Controls finances or refuses to share money.
    * Punishes you by withholding affection.
    * Expects you to ask permission.
    * Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
    * Humiliates you in any way.

You may be in a physically abusive relationship
if your partner has ever:

    * Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
    * Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
    * Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
    * Scared you by driving recklessly.
    * Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
    * Forced you to leave your home.
    * Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
    * Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
    * Hurt your children.
    * Used physical force in sexual situations.

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship
 if your partner:

    * Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
    * Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
    * Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
    * Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
    * Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
    * Held you down during sex.
    * Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
    * Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
    * Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
    * Ignored your feelings regarding sex.

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions you may be in an abusive relationship; please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or your local domestic violence center to talk with someone about it.

Abuse In America
Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence 2004

    * 3 out of 4 (74%) respondents personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.
    * 83% percent of respondents strongly agreed that domestic violence affects people in all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, social and economic backgrounds.
    * 2 out of 3 (66%) strongly agreed that domestic violence is a serious, widespread social problem in America.
    * While 4 out of 10 (43%) ranked fear that the abuser will find the victim as the number one reason a victim would not leave his/her abuser, over a quarter (28%) thought that finding access to money/income to support the victim and/or children was the most important problem.

The Harris Poll 2006

    * Approximately 8 in 10 (79%) respondents recall “seeing or hearing something” about domestic violence in the past year. Furthermore, 53 percent say that they have heard of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. This percentage increases substantially among those people who admit that they have been victims of domestic violence (71%).
    * A large majority (85%) agrees that “when a person forces his/her partner to have sex, it is an act of domestic violence.”
    * An 85% majority also agrees that “a man or woman who abuses his/her partner is more likely to also abuse children.”
    * Approximately 33 million1 or 15% of all U.S. adults, admit that they were a victim of domestic violence. Furthermore, 6 in 10 adults claim that they know someone personally who has experienced domestic violence.
    * Among all adults, 39% say that they have experienced at least one of the following, with 54% saying that they haven’t experienced any:
          o Called bad names (31%)
          o Pushing, slapping, choking or hitting (21%)
          o Public humiliation (19%)
          o Keeping away from friends or family (13%)
          o Threatening your family (10%)
          o Forcing you to have sexual intercourse without consent (9%)

1. Based on July 2005 U.S. Census estimate released January 2006 (223,000,000 total U.S. adults aged 18 or over).
Liz Claiborne Inc. Teen Relationship Abuse Survey 2006

    * 1 in 4 teens (24%) reported feeling pressure to date; 14% said they would do almost anything to keep a boyfriend or girlfriend.
    * Fully one-third of 16-18s (33%)—and 31% of teens who have been in a serious relationship—reported that sex is expected.
    * Almost half of teens who have been in a relationship (47%)—and 55% of those who describe theirs as serious—have done something that compromised their own values in order to please their partner.
    * 3 out of 5 (61%) said that they’ve had a boyfriend or girlfriend who made them feel bad or embarrassed about themselves.
    * 30% reported worrying about their personal physical safety in a relationship.
    * 20% of those who have been in a serious relationship have been hit, slapped, or pushed by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The Office on Violence Against Women poll and focus groups 2006

    * Nearly 3 out of 4 of the women surveyed said that name calling or put-downs on a regular basis constituted domestic violence and 44% suggested that even occasional harsh words counted as domestic violence.
    * 1 in 3 insisted on something akin to a strict liability standard for the perpetrator, saying that put-downs and criticisms that did not hurt the other person’s feelings nonetheless should be considered domestic violence, a sentiment echoed by many women in the focus groups.  To these women, verbal battery is a gateway to physical harm and should not be dismissed.
    * 3 out of 4 women surveyed agreed that repeated threats to bring harm fit the definition of domestic violence.

CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey 2005

    * In households with incomes under $15,000 per year, 35.5% of women and 20.7% of men suffered violence from an intimate partner.
    * 43% of women and 26% of men in multiracial non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.
    * 39% of women and 18.6% of men in American Indian/Alaska Native households suffered partner violence.
    * 26.8% of women and 15.5% of men in white non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.
    * 29.2% of women and 23.3% of men in black non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.
    * 20.5% of women and 15.5% of men in Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

CDC  Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence – United States 2005

    * Each year, intimate partner violence (IPV) results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men.
    * 23.6% of women and 11.5% of men aged 18 years or more have a lifetime history of intimate partner violence victimization.
          o Highest percentage for women is adults aged 45-54 (31.2%)
          o Highest percentage for men is adults aged 25-34 (21.4%)

General Statistics

    * On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.1
    * 92% of women say that reducing domestic violence and sexual assault should be at the top of any formal efforts taken on behalf of women today.2
    * 1 out of 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.3
    * 1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide.3
    * 1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked or physically hurt by his/her partner.4
    * As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy. 5
    * Violence against women costs companies $72.8 million annually due to lost productivity.6
    * Ninety-four percent of the offenders in murder-suicides were male.7
    * Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner (spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were females killed by their intimate partners.7
    * Most murder-suicides with three or more victims involved a “family annihilator” — a subcategory of intimate partner murder-suicide.Family annihilators are murderers who kill not only their wives/girlfriends and children, but often other family members as well,before killing themselves.7
    * Seventy-five percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home.7

1. Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.
2. Progress & Perils: New Agenda for Women, Center for the Advancement of Women. June 2003.
3. Silverman, Jay G., Raj, Anita, and Clements, Karen. “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality.” Pediatrics, August 2004.
4. Teenage Research Unlimited. Findings from study commissioned by Liz Claiborne Inc. to investigate the level of and attitudes towards dating abuse among American teenagers aged 13 to 18 [online] 2005 Feb [cited 2006 Mar 20]. Available from: URL: Gazmararian JA, Petersen R, Spitz AM, Goodwin MM, Saltzman LE, Marks JS. “Violence and reproductive health; current knowledge and future research directions.” Maternal and Child Health Journal 2000; 4(2):79-84.
6. Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA/
7. Violence Policy Center (VPC), American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, April 2006.

How can I help a friend or family member who is being abused?

Don’t be afraid to let him or her know that you are concerned for their safety. Help your friend or family member recognize the abuse. Tell him or her you see what is going on and that you want to help. Help them recognize that what is happening is not “normal” and that they deserve a healthy, non-violent relationship.

Acknowledge that he or she is in a very difficult and scary situation. Let your friend or family member know that the abuse is not their fault. Reassure him or her that they are not alone and that there is help and support out there.

Be supportive. Listen to your friend or family member. Remember that it may be difficult for him or her to talk about the abuse. Let him or her know that you are available to help whenever they may need it. What they need most is someone who will believe and listen to them.

Be non-judgmental. Respect your friend or family member’s decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. He or she may leave and return to the relationship many times. Do not criticize his or her decisions or try to guilt them. He or she will need your support even more during those times.

Encourage him or her to participate in activities outside of the relationship with friends and family.

If he or she ends the relationship, continue to be supportive of them. Even though the relationship was abusive, your friend or family member may still feel sad and lonely once it is over. He or she will need time to mourn the loss of the relationship and will especially need your support at that time.

Help him or her to develop a safety plan.

Encourage him or her to talk to people who can provide help and guidance. Find a local domestic violence agency that provides counseling or support groups. Offer to go with him or her to talk to family and friends. If he or she has to go to the police, court or a lawyer, offer to go along for moral support.

Remember that you cannot “rescue” him or her. Although it is difficult to see someone you care about get hurt, ultimately the person getting hurt has to be the one to decide that they want to do something about it. It’s important for you to support him or her and help them find a way to safety and peace.

If you think your friend or family member may be abusive, click here to find out more.

Please call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224 to discuss your concerns and questions.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Cowgirls Git-R-Dun© domestic violence awareness campaign was conceived when one of our  own members Brenda A. was in a seriously dangerous life treating relationship, and just hours before she was to finally afford to get out of it,  was murdered by her boyfriend, on July 31st, 2010. The only thing that would have made the difference for her was funding to afford her escape.

So in her memory and honor and countless woman nationwide, m
embers of Cowgirls Git-R-Dun© are actively involved in our year round fund raising efforts through sponsorship's, luncheons, socials, Bike Runs and collectible sales, and through the sales of Almost Edible Gourmet Candles, our primary funding vehicle, and a Cowgirls Git-R-Dun exclusive. It will benefit victims of domestic violence and  provide them, with necessary emergency funds to get them out of dangerous and life threatening situation, providing them with means of public transportation if necessary, food, and  afford them  the necessary means to relocate to a safe environment or shelter.

In addition Cowgirls Git-R-Dun© will introduce them to crisis recourse centers, counseling and education to help prevent them of falling into future abusive relationships and the warning signs of abuse and abusive personality traits.

In addition we will also assist them in finding permanent employment and housing.

It is an ambitious undertaking but with Gods blessings and
generous hearts like your, we will Git-R-Dun and help prevent the loss of another member and help provide them with the necessary knowledge that can break the cycle and help them live happy fruitful lives.

Will You help us help them today?

Am I Being Abused?

How is your relationship?Does your partner:

  • Embarrass you with put-downs?
  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
  • Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
  • Make all of the decisions?
  • Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
  • Prevent you from working or attending school?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
  • Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
  • Force you to try and drop charges?
  • Threaten to commit suicide?
  • Threaten to kill you?

If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions,
you may be in an abusive relationship.

For support and more information please call the

National Domestic Violence Hotline at

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.


Source: Stalking in America: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes, April 1998. The full report is available from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at:

A little over 1 million women and 370,000 men are stalked annually in the United States.

1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime.

77% of female and 64% of male victims know their stalker.

87% of stalkers are men.

59% of female victims and 30% of male victims are stalked by an intimate partner.

81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner. 31% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also sexually assaulted by that partner. Intimate partners that stalk are four times more likely than intimate partners in the general population to physically assault their victims and six times more likely to sexually assault their victims.

73% of intimate partner stalkers verbally threaten the victims with physical violence, and almost 46% of victims experienced one or more violent incidents by the stalker.

The average duration of stalking is 1.8 years.

If stalking involves intimate partners, the average duration increases to 2.2 years.

61% of stalkers made unwanted phone calls; 33% sent or left unwanted letters or items; 29% vandalized property; and 9% killed or threatened to kill a family pet.

28% of female victims and 10% of male victims obtained a protective order. 69% of female victims and 81% of male victims had the protection order violated.

56% of women stalked took some type of self-protective measure; 11% included extreme measures such as relocating.

26% of stalking victims lost time from work as a result of their victimization, and 7% never returned to work.

30% of female victims and 20% of male victims sought psychological counseling.

Source: The Sexual Victimization of College Women. By Bonnie S. Fisher, Francis T. Cullen, and Michael G. Turner. National Institute of Justice, December 2000. Full report available at

13% of college women were stalked during a single six to nine month period.

80% of campus stalking victims know their stalkers.

3 in 10 college women reported emotional or psychological injury as a result of stalking episodes.

Fifteen percent of the time, the stalker threatened or attempted to harm the victim and 10 percent of the time, the stalker forced or attempted sexual contact.

Three of the correlating factors that increase the risk of a female being stalked on a college campus are spending time in bars; living alone; and being in the early phase of a dating relationship, as opposed to being married or living with an intimate partner.

McFarlane, Judith M. et al. "Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide." Homicide Studies 3 (4) (November 1999): 300-316.

76% of female murder victims had been stalked. 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner.

89% of female murder victims who had been physically abused had also been stalked in the 12 months before the murder.

only 54% of these victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers.
From: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs National Institute of Justice: "The Crime of Stalking: How Big Is the Problem?" by Patricia Tjaden. Published: November 1997

Stalking affects about 1.4 million victims annually (1 million women and 400,000 men)

About half of all female stalking victims reported their victimization to the police and about 25 percent obtained a restraining order

8 percent of women and 2 percent of men said they had been stalked at some point in their lives

the results projected 8.2 million female and 2 million male lifetime stalking victims, most of whom were stalked by only one stalker

Most victims knew their stalker. Women were significantly more likely to be stalked by an intimate partner--whether that partner was a current spouse, a former spouse or cohabiting partner, or a date. Only 21 percent of stalkers identified by female victims were strangers

men were significantly more likely to be stalked by a stranger or an acquaintance

About 87 percent of stalkers were men

Women tended to be victimized by lone stalkers, but in 50 percent of male victimizations the stalker had an accomplice--usually a friend or girlfriend

Most victims were between the ages of 18 and 29 when the stalking started

Stalkers made overt threats to about 45 percent of victims

Stalkers spied on or followed about 75 percent of victims

Stalkers vandalized the property of about 30 percent of victims

Stalkers threatened to kill or killed the pet(s) of about 10 percent of victims

About 60 percent of stalking by intimate partners started before a relationship ended

A clear relationship existed between stalking and other emotionally controlling and physically abusive behavior. About half of the female stalking victims had been stalked by a current or former marital or cohabiting partner. About 80 percent of these women were, at some point in the relationship, physically assaulted by that partner, and 31 percent were sexually assaulted

Half of all victims reported their stalking to the police. About one- quarter of the women obtained a restraining order--a far greater proportion than men. Eighty percent of all restraining orders were violated by the assailant. About 24 percent of female victims who reported stalking to the police (compared to 19 percent of male victims) said their cases were prosecuted. Of the cases where criminal charges were filed, 54 percent resulted in a conviction. About 63 percent of convictions resulted in jail time.

Although the stalking usually stopped within 1 to 2 years, victims experienced social and psychological consequences long after. About one- third reported they had sought psychological treatment. In addition, 20 percent lost time from work, and 7 percent of those said they never returned to work. When asked why the stalking stopped, about 20 percent of the victims said it was because they moved away. Another 15 percent said it was because of police involvement. Also, stalking of women victims often stopped when the assailant got a new girlfriend or wife.

Like domestic violence, stalking is a crime of power and control. Stalking is conservatively defined as "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, non-consensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear." [1] Stalking behaviors also may include persistent patterns of leaving or sending the victim unwanted items or presents that may range from seemingly romantic to bizarre, following or laying in wait for the victim, damaging or threatening to damage the victim's property, defaming the victim's character, or harassing the victim via the Internet by posting personal information or spreading rumors about the victim.

According to the CDC's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS),1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have been stalked during their lifetime. For both female and male victims, stalking was often committed by people they knew or with whom they had a relationship. Two-thirds of the female victims of stalking (66.2%) reported stalking by a current or former intimate partner and nearly one-quarter (24.0%) reported stalking by an acquaintance. About 1 in 8 female victims (13.2%) reported stalking by a stranger. [2]

Stalking can be carried out in person or via electronic mechanisms (phone, fax, GPS, cameras, computer spyware, or the Internet). Cyber-stalking—the use of technology to stalk victims—shares some characteristics with real-life stalking. It involves the pursuit, harassment, or contact of others in an unsolicited fashion initially via the Internet and e-mail. Cyber-stalking can intensify in chat rooms where stalkers systematically flood their target's inbox with obscene, hateful, or threatening messages and images. A cyber-stalker may further assume the identity of his or her victim by posting information (fictitious or not) and soliciting responses from the cybercommunity. Cyberstalkers may use information acquired online to further intimidate, harass, and threaten their victim via courier mail, phone calls, and physically appearing at a residence or work place.

Although cyberstalking does not involve physical contact with a victim, it is still a serious crime. The increasing ubiquity of the Internet and the ease with which it allows others unusual access to personal information, have made this form of stalking ever more accessible. Potential stalkers may find it easier to stalk via a remote device such as the Internet rather than to confront an actual person. Conduct that falls short of the legal definition of stalking may in fact be a precursor to stalking and must be taken seriously. [3] As part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2005, Congress extended the Federal interstate stalking statute to include cyberstalking (18 U.S.C. §2261 A).