Study: 1 in 3 Women Will Be Abused

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The person we love most might be putting us in danger. The World Health Organization says women are most likely to be killed by their partner than anyone else, but a program in Winnebago County is trying to prevent domestic violence deaths.

“I ended up with two black eyes, a broken nose and six cracked ribs,” Domestic Violence Victim, Carol, said.
It happened 25 years ago, but Carol says even decades later it still affects her.

"I'm deaf in my right ear. I still have problems with my ribs," she said.

Carol is far from being alone. The World Health Organization says one in three women is abused by their partner. And the stats are very similar here in the Stateline. Remedies Renewing Lives says just this month about 90 battered women in Winnebago County have come forward. The agency says helping more victims could be a matter of life and death.

"If a person receives domestic violence services the chance of them actually being fatally killed by their abuser is much, much less," Karen Gill, Vice President of Operations at Remedies, said.

In fact, the WHO says a woman's killer is most likely to be her partner. So Remedies is working with Winnebago County on a homicide prevention grant to get abused women the help they need.

"You're the expert in your abuser, not us and so we want you to look at all aspects of how to keep yourself safe and your children safe and then you make the decisions," Gill said.

Carol stayed with her abusive husband four years and believes if she stayed longer he would have killed her. Now she hopes others learn from her situation.

"I lost my self-esteem, I lost security, I lost trust, and it's not worth it. To stay with one person that abuses you, it’s not worth it," she said.

The World Health Organization says people in the medical field need to be better trained to recognize both women who are being abused and those at risk of abuse.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 women is a victim of domestic violence. The numbers are just as bad locally.

The study also says a woman’s greatest murder risk is her partner. That’s why there's a new project in Winnebago County aimed at getting women out of violent relationships.

Remedies reports just this month about 90 orders of protection were filed in Winnebago County. The group says so far this year, it’s helped more than 1,500 domestic violence victims. Those numbers have been holding steady for the last few years. They expect to help even more abused women. Remedies is working with the county on a homicide prevention grant to help domestic violence victims get services so they’re not killed by their partner.
“You’re the expert in your abuser, not us, and so we want you to look at all aspects of how to keep yourself safe and your children safe and then you make the decisions,” said Karen Gill with Remedies Renewing Lives.

Gill says when the temperature goes up, so does the number of domestic violence cases. She says June has been mild, so she’s worried about a sharp spike when the weather gets really hot.

The World Health Organization, calls domestic violence a “global health problem of epidemic proportions.”
Experts say authorities need to spot problems sooner and health workers should recognize signs of abuse in patients.

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