YWCA Survey Shows a Majority of Women Fear Domestic Violence

Friday, December 19, 2008 General News
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 Fully half (54%) of American womenworry they or someone they know will be a victim of domestic violence. Youngerwomen ages 18-29 are most worried, with more than two-thirds (68%) saying theyare worried about this threat. Of these younger women, 36 percent say they are"very worried" and 32 percent say they are "somewhat worried."

In contrast, half (50%) of older women ages 30-70 say they are worriedabout domestic violence, with 23 percent of them saying they are "veryworried" and 27 percent "somewhat worried."

These results are reported in a recent YWCA USA survey report, What WomenWant: a National Survey of Priorities and Concerns, based on a telephonesurvey of 1,000 women ages 18-70 conducted on Oct. 28 - Nov. 2 by PrincetonSurvey Research Associates International.

Race is another factor that influences women's degree of concern aboutdomestic violence. Six in 10 (60%) Black women say they worry about being avictim or knowing someone who is a victim of domestic violence, compared with52 percent of White women. Further, 34 percent of Black women say they are"very worried" about domestic violence, compared with 23 percent of Whitewomen.

"These are truly frightening survey findings," said Lorraine Cole, PhD,YWCA USA's CEO. "That so many women live in such fear of domestic violence isshocking. I hope the new Obama administration will do everything to eliminatethis scourge of domestic violence and work with us to make sure every woman issafe in her home and intimate relationships."

Statistics help explain women's anxiety. According to the U.S. Departmentof Justice, 1.3 million American women are physically assaulted by an intimatepartner each year and among women who are murdered, one-third is killed by acurrent or former husband or boyfriend. Further, 19% of women raped each yearare victimized by a current or former intimate partner. One million women arestalked each year. And one in 12 women will be stalked during their lifetime.

Other YWCA survey findings:

Two-thirds (66%) of all women and 73 percent of younger women say thataddressing violence against women should be a top priority for President-electObama and Congress in the first year of the new administration. Mostsignificant, eight in 10 Black women (83%) say violence against women shouldbe a top priority.

Nearly one in five women (19%) considers violence against women thenation's most pressing public health issue. This health issue ranked thirdafter access to affordable, quality health care (37%) and the number of womenwithout health insurance (26%).

The YWCA USA is a national not-for-profit membership organizationdedicated to social service, advocacy, education, leadership development andracial justice. Established in the United States in 1858, the YWCA is theoldest and largest national organization dedicated to the empowerment of womenand girls and the elimination of racism. Through nearly 300 local associationslocated across the nation, the YWCA serves 2.5 million women and girls eachyear. Globally, the YWCA USA is a member of World YWCA that works in 122countries and serves 25 million women and girls. For more information and toread the full survey report, visit http://www.ywca.org.


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