Domestic Violence Bigger Than Civil War

palo_duro_butteA 2014 study written by James Fearon, a Stanford political scientist, and produced by the Copenhagen Consensus Center for use by the United Nations, finds that domestic violence is several orders of magnitude greater than that of civil war. How much greater? Nine times. Nine times as many people are killed in disputes against individuals than are killed in civil wars.

According to the article the prevalence of homicide, intimate partner violence and child abuse has more of an impact on human well-being than civil war. It is said that even though civil wars are horribly lethal and destructive they are concentrated in a small number of countries. Contrast this to homicide levels of ten per 100,000 which is the level found in one in three countries and which the World Health Organization considers to be epidemic.

So what do we do about it? In my mind we need to increase awareness around what factors lead to sexual violence and it must happen on a national scale. According to the Centers for Disease Control only three programs to date have been found to be effective at preventing sexual violence. Those three programs are Safe Dates, Shifting Boundaries and RealConsent. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a link for the RealConsent program online. As promising as these programs are they are targeted only at students. I think we need to target parents and adults as well.


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