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Low Income Women At Greater Risk For Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can occur among any age, race or socioeconomic group. However, statistics show that there is an increased risk of domestic violence among lower-income women. In fact, women whose family incomes are under $7,500 are five times more likely to be victims of violence than women with family annual incomes between $50,000 and $74,000.

Women Receiving Government Support

In addition, women receiving government income support payments through Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) are three times more likely to be victims of physical aggression or domestic abuse than women who are not dependent on government support. It should be noted that some of the domestic abuse cases may be higher among low-income women due to the fact that it is most frequently reported by the poor who more often call the police for dispute resolution.

Young Black Women in Urban Areas

Other higher risk factors include age (16 - 24), race (African-American), divorce or separation, and being a resident of rental housing, particularly in an urban area. In some areas, almost half of domestic violence involves repeat offenses. Further, abuse is strongly linked to cohabitation at a young age, mental illnesses, a history of abuse in the family, unemployment, drug abuse, and becoming a parent at a very young age.

Awareness Helps

Awareness of the existence and danger of domestic violence can be raised by attending awareness programs offered at school and in the community. Since there is a higher risk of violence among young women 16-24, it is important for teens to understand that this is not normal or acceptable behavior and should not be tolerated. Those who believe they might be victims should take advantage of community programs that teach ways in which to handle conflict and help teens become aware of dating violence.

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