To alot of landlords, domestic violence is a strange and foreign subject that they don’t know anything about and if the truth be told, don’t want to know anything about. But let me tell you landlords, that’s the kind of thinking that can not only get your tenant killed but it can also get you, your staff members and other tenants killed as well. Today, every landlord should know the basics about domestic violence because most likely it has or is happening to one of your tenants in an apartment or house that you own or manage.

Landlords, ask yourselves this. Can you live with yourself if you know that a woman is being beaten in one of your dwellings and you do absolutely nothing about it? Landlords, do you really want to own a property on which a woman was murdered due to domestic violence?

If you answered “no” to any of the two questions above, you are a true professional who should be very proud of themselves! You are a brave, intelligent and compassionate landlord who truly cares about the well-being of their tenants. With this attitude, you are now ready to learn the basics of domestic violence. First, let’s start with the definition.

Domestic violence (also called intimate partner abuse, battering or wife-beating) is physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse that takes place in the context of an intimate relationship. There are many forms of abuse that are inflicted upon a victim of domestic violence, however the abuse suffered by the victim is usually physical.

Domestic violence is used by one person in a relationship to maintain control over the other and to get what they want from the people who care about them. Partners may be married, not married, heterosexual, gay, lesbian, living together, separated or dating.

Some examples of domestic violence are:

– name-calling or put-downs

– keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends (isolation)

– withholding money

– stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job

– actual or threatened physical harm (slapping, punching, kicking)

– sexual assault (rape)

– stalking
– discouraging a partner from going to school or getting a degree

– intimidation

Batterers use domestic violence to create an atmosphere of fear in order to keep their victims “in line” and prevent them from being free self-sufficient individuals. Batterers also choose to abuse their victims and can act differently when they want to. Batterers are not “out of control” but have a severe compulsion to be in control. They basically want their victims to exist to meet THEIR needs not their own. Victims of domestic violence are often hesitant to report or leave their batterers for several reasons such as shame and embarrassment, guilt, financial or loss of income, retaliation by a batterer, lack of support from family and law enforcement or for fear that noone will believe them because the batterer acts entirely different in front of other people.

The violence inflicted upon a victim of domestic violence can be criminal and include physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity) and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal they are forms of abuse which can lead to criminal domestic violence.

When it comes to domestic violence, anyone can be a victim! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women are abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavioral problems due to domestic violence. Family pets such as cats, dogs, birds and hamsters can also be unfortunate victims of domestic violence.

Below are some brutal statistics about domestic violence that every landlord should know.

-1,000,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend are reported every year. -Three million women are physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends every year.

-At least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime, worldwide.

-Nearly one-third of American women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.

-Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.

-In the year 2005, more than half a million American women were victims of nonfatal violence committed by an intimate partner.

-In 2005, women accounted for 85 percent of the victims of intimate partner violence and men accounted for approximately 15 percent of the victims.

In 2005, intimate partner violence made up 20 percent of violent crime against women. The same year, intimate partners committed 3 percent of all violent crime against men.

-As many as 400,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.

-Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.

-The most rapid growth in domestic relations caseloads is occurring in domestic violence filings. Between 1993 and 2005, 18 of 32 states with three year filing figures reported an increase of 20 percent or more.

-On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner. The same year, 440 men were killed by an intimate partner.

-Women are much more likely than men to be killed by an intimate partner. In 2000, intimate partner homicides accounted for 33.5 percent of the murders of women and less than 4 percent of the murders of men.

-Pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause, and evidence exists that a significant proportion of all female homicide victims are killed by their intimate partners.

-Domestic violence is the third largest health problem facing the gay and lesbian community today and trails only behind AIDS and substance abuse.

-Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

-Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

-In a national survey of more than 6,000 American families, 50 percent of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children.

-Slightly more than half of female victims of intimate violence live in households with children under age 12.

-Studies suggest that between 4 to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

Landlords, I know that alot of you out there may be very overwhelmed and shocked after reading some of the above statistics about domestic violence and wonder what the hell you can do about it. To be honest, very little since domestic violence is such a big problem, but doing something is a whole lot better than doing nothing. Landlords, below are a few things that you can do to decrease domestic violence on your property.

-If you can afford it and it is feasible, provide armed security guards in your apartment buildings and around the houses that you own or manage.

-Landlords, encourage your tenants to let you or management know if they suspect that another tenant is being abused so that you can encourage them to seek help.

-Landlords, if you suspect that one of your tenant’s is being abused, encourage them to seek help immediately and also obtain a restraining order!

-Place domestic violence literature in your apartment buildings and in your rental offices.

-Post emergency phone numbers (police & fire dept, d.v. hotline) on a bulletin board in your apartment buildings.
-Install a pay phone in your building for emergency situations.

-Take a queue from “neighborhood watch” areas and start a “domestic violence watch” in your apartment buildings.

-Landlords, don’t be a hero! If a domestic violence situation arises, call the police immediately and let them handle it! (Also encourage your tenants to do the same.)

-Landlords, be informed! Keep abreast of the domestic violence laws and shelters in your area.

-Ban firearms from your property.

-Landlords, pray to God for the safety of a tenant that you suspect is being abused.

In terms of domestic violence, there is only so much that a landlord can do, it really is up to the victim and the batterer to do their parts to break the cycle of domestic violence. But both parties must want to break it. If the victim and the batterer don’t try to break the cycle of domestic violence, the violence not only happens over and over again to the victim but if the victim and the batterer have children then another dreaded cycle of domestic violence can start all over again. And let’s face it, no victim of domestic violence wants history to repeat itself when it comes to their children. I mean, what mother wants to see her daughter become a victim of domestic violence. And certainly no victim of domestic violence ever wants to see her sweet little baby boy grow up and become a batterer who beats his wife and children and have the cycle of domestic violence carry on into the next generation.

Victims and batterers, stop the violence now! Break the cycle of domestic violence! For more information call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or for hearing impaired persons call 1-800-787-3224. Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    I think India can be taken as best example for this article.

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