Domestic Violence Emergency Shelter to Stay Open 

According to the US Department of Justice, nationally, when women are killed by someone, 33% of the time they are killed by an intimate partner. Last year in Maine 65% of all homicides were domestic related. Those are the statistics that advocates who work to prevent domestic violence want to see eradicated. Deborah Shepherd is the executive director of the Family Violence Project which serves Kennebec and Somerset counties. Shepherd feared that one of their emergency shelters was going to have to close this year. That was until a 76-thousand dollar grant was received from the federal government. “The purpose is to get somebody out of a potentially lethal situation. Give them emergency shelter and services and normally that would be for about 30 days.” Shepherd says. She adds that it may be the only option a woman has, “She may need to get out of there. She may have no other options, no friends, no family that she can stay with. Her abuser may know every single friend and every family member and may have threatened them as well so this is a last resort for many women and without it the homicide rate may be higher and certainly injuries would be more prevalent.” There are two shelters in Central Maine that in the past 5 years have served more than 1-hundred women and 82 children. If you would like more information on the Family Violence Project log onto Family Violence Project. If you are in need of immediate help call their crisis hotline at 623-3569 or 1-877-890-7788. For a list of domestic violence victim services in Maine visit the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.Statistics64% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date. (Full Report of the Prevalance, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November, 2000.)1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men will be stalked in their lifetime. 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner. (Tjaden & Thoennes, Stalking in America, National Institute of Justice, 1998.)1 in 3 teen relationships are abusive. ( ages 16 to 24 experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence. (Rennison, Callie Marie and Sarah Welchans. 2003. Intimate Partner Violence 1993-2001. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved January 9, 2004. of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey, August 1995. Domestic violence occurs in approximately 25-33% of same-sex relationships. (NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, October 1996.)Slightly more than half of female victims of intimate violence live in households with children under age 12. (U.S. Department of Justice, Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, March 1998.)Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. (Children Now/Kaiser Permanente poll, December 1995. is limited research on domestic violence offenders. Males perpetrate 95% of all serious domestic violence. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online. is estimated that 1 in 4 men will use violence against his partner in his lifetime. (Paymar, M., Violent no more: Helping men end domestic abuse. Alameda, CA: Hunter House Publications, 2000)In 2003, the police reported that 95% of the people who domestically assaulted someone used their hands as a weapon. (Maine Department of Public Safety).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. (Strauss, Murray A, Gelles, Richard J., and Smith, Christine. 1990. Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.)