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CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog

The purpose of this blog is to foster public discussion about injury and violence prevention and response and gain perspectives of those we serve.

Moving Intimate Partner Violence Stories and Science to Action

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention

VetoViolence (Violence Education Tools Online) logo
Last December, I was having a conversation with a friend about how many people are actually affected by intimate partner violence (IPV).  When I said that 1 out of 4 women had experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime, my friend responded, “But, I don’t know anyone who has been abused.”  My response: “You just don’t think you know anyone. It is hidden so often, and we often don’t think that intimate partner violence affects our friends and families.”    

All you need to do is look at the stories – the stories that survivors of IPV have shared on CDC’s VetoViolence Facebook site.  Stories that are compelling and highlight the importance of bringing the issue of IPV to light. Stories that put a face on the data that we collect, and help us to make others understand the human side of IPV.  Stories that provide hope and encouragement to others who have experienced violence in their own relationships. 

Each day, IPV survivors are helping to protect the future by sharing their personal stories, providing support for other victims, and challenging everyone to stop violence before it ever starts.  

“Helping prevent violence or even making people aware will make an impact on someone’s life. Its important to me because I lived it, and I want to share with other women and girls that violence is never ok.”
“Violence impacts the entire community, even when it happens to an individual.  Everyone should get involved. If we all did something, this world could be a great place.”

Last year, CDC’s Injury Center released the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) on IPV, sexual violence, and stalking which showed how common these types of violence are in our society.  In one year, more than 12 million women and men in the U.S. were victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner.  On average, that’s 24 people every minute. As public health prevention practitioners, we focus on ways to prevent intimate partner violence from happening in the first place, and strive to create healthier relationships, safer communities, and a less violent world.

The data from this survey, along with other research and program efforts to prevent intimate partner violence, is featured in tomorrow’s CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds.  Our scientists will discuss cutting-edge scientific evidence and innovative solutions, and our partners will highlight how we work together to prevent IPV.

The presentation will describe how programs such as the Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership through Alliances (DELTA) program have put science into action and fundamentally changed how communities view IPV.  Instead of relying on clinicians to recognize the problem and stop the bleeding in the ED, they are motivating all citizens to prevent someone from bleeding in the first place, with education and activities focused on building strong, healthy relationships.

Futures Without Violence will describe how they use CDC data and other research to protect our youth, using a diverse portfolio of innovative programs that reach youth at schools, in neighborhoods, and on their mobile phones.   

In the time it took you to read this blog, about 48-72 more people suffered intimate partner violence. What will you do to break the silence and stop the violence?

CDC’s VetoViolence Facebook page is a place where individuals and organizations can share their extraordinary work and commitment to preventing violence and supporting victims of violence.

“Thank you for creating this group! It’s such an inspiration to see that others want to spread awareness about violence, whether it be physical, verbal, etc. Violence will always exist, but if we can teach the world to love and accept others, then we have done our best! I am thankful for groups like VetoViolence. Keep up the great work!”

Join the thousands of fans at VetoViolence Facebook to share your own story, support others working in violence prevention, or pledge to Veto Violence in your community. Speak out – help us to break the silence.

Remember to watch live and learn more about efforts to prevent IPV from our CDC Grand Rounds presentation , “Breaking the Silence – Public Health’s Role in Intimate Partner Violence Prevention” live on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 1 p.m.  – 2 p.m., EDT and follow @CDCInjury on Twitter as we live tweet throughout the event, using the hashtag #CDCGrandRounds.  

To view the archived presentation after June 19, visit the Grand Rounds Archives.

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. December 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm ET  -   Jonathan

    Sometimes people are unwilling to report / share their sufferings because they cannot talk, do not understand what is happening, are afraid, or have no one to talk to. That’s the point where their loved ones or other people can actually play important role by giving them voice by sharing their own experiences.

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