CNN estimates that every day, at least three women are murdered in America by a boyfriend or husband. However, when you include how many children, law enforcement officers, family members, friends and innocent bystanders are killed in Connecticut and all across the country, that figure climbs even higher.
It is important to note that though domestic violence is most often perpetrated by men, men are sometimes the victims. This may be at the hands of a woman or another man. For perspective, CNN reports that 1 in 4 women suffer violence at the hands of their partners, while 1 in 7 men suffer the same fate. On a more general scale, of all murder victims in the United States, 1 in 6 are killed by their romantic partner.
The figures are even worse in LGBT relationships. For instance, 44% of lesbians reported experiencing stalking or domestic violence in their relationships, while 61% of bisexual women reported the same. In contrast, 35% of heterosexual women dealt with these problems. Of the men who reported this behavior in their relationships, 26% were gay men, while 29% were heterosexual and 37% were bisexual.
Experts believe that toxic masculinity is primarily to blame for the continued cycle of domestic violence. Men who adhere to strict gender roles seem to be most likely to exhibit this kind of behavior. It may also be reasonable to speculate whether or not this behavior is internalized and replicated in some lesbian and bisexual relationships, where one female takes on the role of a man. However, the CNN articles do not address this.
What they do say in no uncertain terms is that domestic violence is a growing problem. While tackling toxic masculinity is one possible way to reduce domestic violence, uninvolved parties also need to take a stand. Whether this involves donating to charities, volunteering or playing an active role in protecting adults and children caught in the crossfire, this is an issue that requires community support to create a lasting solution.