Domestic Violence Statistics On the Rise As Economy Weakens

Here in my home state a recent Commission on Family Violence study reflects the number of deaths related to domestic violence is up nearly 33% over last year’s totals, and those figures are only through September.  According to a number of counselors, and those running shelters for victims of domestic violence, it seems a weakening economy leads to more incidents of violence against domestic partners.  Just a couple weeks ago a neighboring community was rocked by a murder-suicide in a quiet, affluent neighborhood, and the authorities suspect financial troubles were a motivating factor.

Economic Stress Leads To Violence

The classic case of domestic violence typically involves violence against women committed by a male partner.  Of course, this is not always the case, and there are many different forms of domestic abuse.  In a struggling economy where it is getting tougher to make ends meet, and where many breadwinners are concerned over job stability, the pressure can lead to domestic violence in the home.  The recent report is a good reminder that in tough times we should be holding each other close, not pushing each other away.

It is normal for couples to have different opinions on how to manage their finances.  For instance, one partner is usually a “spender” while the other is a “saver.” However, in lean times you have to find some common ground with your spouse, whether it be for basic survival or figuring how to maximize your earnings and stretch your dollars further than you ever have before.  The bottom line is it takes teamwork, and both partners have to be on the same page.

As Budgets Grow Tighter, Victims Have Less Financial Means to Get Away

With savings dwindling and monthly expenses going up, victims of domestic violence often lack the financial resources to flee their abusers.  This is particularly true in cases of a single income households where only one partner controls the checkbook, and the other is unable to accumulate money to flee.  Fortunately, there are shelters in many areas that will take in victims of domestic violence, and their children, but even their resources are strained due to a drop in donations during economic downturns.

Seek Help, Before It Is Too Late

If you are struggling financially, and feeling the pressure build, find someone you trust to talk to–either a professional or just a good friend.  Sometimes it helps to have this “sounding board” to vent frustrations, without taking them all home to your spouse.  If you and your spouse are fighting over money, consider attending marriage and/or financial counseling so an objective third party can help you work through the various issues in your relationship.  If you are currently in an abusive relationship, please seek help immediately from a friend or family member, a shelter, or even law enforcement, if necessary.  Domestic violence is not something to be taken lightly, and as the statistics referenced above show, many times the violence escalates over time and ends in tragedy.


  1. What a sad set of circumstances! I hope people take your advice and get help before they take out their frustrations on loved ones.

    I am particularly scared for the children in these families. In many instances, they don’t have the option of leaving like adults do.

    Let’s hope people do the smart thing. Thanks for bringing attention to this subject!

  2. I came from a a home where my mom was physical/verbally abused. Now that I am grown with kids of my own, I have learned that is not the way I want to live and those are not the things I want my kids to see and hear. I agree with Jeff. It is much harder on the kids. They are scared.

    My heart goes out to many families in this situation and I pray they get the help they need.

  3. Maybe spouses should discuss a contingency plan for instances such as job loss, unexpected bills, and other hardships?
    I’m not saying that it would solve domestic violence, but having a plan, or at least talking about scenarios always helps if the situation occurs.
    Just a thought.

  4. I lived for 20 years with domestic violence that is why we donate to domestic violence shelters and try to help other’s find a loving real relationship. Know the signs before getting into a relationship, anyone is extremely controling is likely to be violent. In these tough times it is often more of a challenge to find help. Even in booming times it was nearly impossible to find help. However, realize your assets, everyone has them, even someone who is homeless often do not realize what they have as an asset. A healthy body, and a great mind even a warm blanket can be a great asset. Use what you have learn to work your way back up. No one in America should be homeless.

    My question for eveyone today is how have you helped someone else today. I think we should ask ourselves this question every day in these tough times. If we all strive to make the world a little nicer place one person at a time/ it will happen!

  5. The problem with being in an abusive relationship is that no matter how hard one tries, the abusor is usually also controlling and manipulative. Their ‘way’ is ‘the only way’, whether it is right or not.

    Seeking counseling is a great idea, but usually the abusor will NOT go along and will often times not “allow” the hurt party to go either.

    Sometimes the school system can help the hurt partner by giving them access to information, and help to their children. Remember that it is LAW that once a school employee hears of an abusive relationship involving actual abuse to a person, that they by law have to report it to the authorities. Sometimes this is the only way that the family can get the help that they need. Sometimes it also backfires, and the abusor takes it out on the family – again.

    For those of you who are not in an abusive situation, if you have it within you, please support your local shelters and their charity drives and fundraisers. Sometimes the anonimity of a shelter is the only way the abused person can stay alive. For those of you already doing this, thank you!

    Think of the example this sets for the children of abuse… they learn by example and the pattern can be repeated over and over thru the generations. Something needs to happen to show the children that this is not right nor will it be tolerated.

    And notice I kept this gender neutral, as I know that abuse can come from either gender.

  6. As you can see from the website listed we are very involved in DV issues. I read your comments with interest about the 33% rise in deaths due to the economy. I know this is true but it is hard to find the stats to prove it. I searched and searched to find your home state so I could get the stats from the horses mouth to no avail. I can understand and respect your desire for privacy but would like to know from which state the stats came.

    Keep up the great work