Internet Safety for Victims of Violence

Found via an online account, she was beaten, lost an eye, and in a coma. Over the years I’ve trained many law enforcement groups on the internet’s role in domestic violence, but the phone call informing me of this victim’s fate was a tipping point; it compelled me to write a 20 page special document specifically for victims. The result is Internet Safety for Victims of Violence that can now be found under our Learn Safety section on

It is my sincere hope that the material in this document will help protect victims of domestic violence, victims of human trafficking who have managed to escape, victims of stalking, victims of hate crimes, and anyone else who, for whatever reason, need to have their online actions carefully protected.  To ensure the highest quality, the information has been edited and vetted by domestic violence experts across the country. Internet Safety for Victims of Violence contains information for victims before they manage to escape, and for those who have already escaped horrible circumstances.

You know an abuse victim. Help get this document into their hands, and into the hands of domestic violence shelters, LGBT organizations, human trafficking organizations, church groups, and more. 

If you know more than 4 women, chances are high that you know a victim of partner or ex-partner abuse. The statistics are shocking, but there are simple steps each of us can take to dramatically influence the safety of the women, children, youth, and yes, the men being victimized today.

The stats:

  1. Nearly one in every four women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood[i].
  2. Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence[ii].
  3. Approximately 37% of women seeking injury-related treatment in hospital emergency rooms were there because of injuries inflicted by a current or former spouse/partner[iii].
  4. Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year[iv] – or about 20% of the total U.S. child population of 74.5 million[v].
  5. Men exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and adult domestic violence as children were almost 4 times more likely than other men to have perpetrated domestic violence as adults, according to a large study[vi].
  6. The cost of intimate partner violence annually exceeds $5.8 billion, including $4.1 billion in direct health care expenses[vii].
  7. In 2008, a 24-hour survey of domestic violence programs across the nation found that over 60,000 victims were served in one day. Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources, there were almost 9,000 unmet requests for services.[viii]
  8. In 2008 the National Domestic Violence Hotline received 236,907 calls, but over 29,000 of those calls went unanswered due to lack of resources[ix].

Take Action:

According to research by the National Criminal Justice Reference service, every year in the U.S. between 1,000 and 1,600 women die at the hands of their partners[x]. That’s 3 or 4 women every single day.

Learn the signs of domestic violence on the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s website, or by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

NOTE: If you are the victim of domestic violence, do not look for support information on any computer or phone or other device that may be under the control of, or monitored by, your abuser.

Stay alert for these domestic violence signs and ask questions. Silence is an abusers best friend.

If you suspect someone is a victim of domestic violence and the threat is immediate, dial 911. Otherwise report your suspicions to the police.

Together we can get help, safety, and justice for abuse victims.


[i]  U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (July 2000). Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington, DC. Tjaden, P.,& Thoennes,N)

[ii] Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice and Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence in the United States, 1993-2004.” December 2006

[iii] Rand, M. Violence-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Room Departments 5 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997).

[iv] McDonold, R et al. (2006).“Estimating the Number of American Children Living in Partner Violent Families.” Journal of Family Psychology,30(1),137-142

[vi] Whitfield, C.L., Anda, R.F., Dube, S.R., &  Felitti, V.J. (2003). “Violent childhood experiences and the risk of intimate partner violence in adults.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 166-185.

[vii] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2003). Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States.

[viii] Domestic Violence Count 07 A 24- hour census of domestic violence shelters and services across the United States.The National Network to End Domestic Violence (Jan. 2008).


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