In 2010, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, documented that there were 9,324 reported cases of varying crimes–all falling into the domestic violence category–in Orange County, FL; Orlando is the heart of Orange County. Such crimes as murder, rape, stalking and more were included in the statistics. During the first 8 months of 2011, domestic violence cases doubled from the same time as the previous year.
The important thing to take note of here is that these statistics reflect only REPORTED cases. The sad truth, however, is that for those that are reported, there a many more cases that go unreported. According to the LegalMatch Law Blog, over one fourth of cases are not reported.
The victims of domestic violence are most often women, but men are victims too and are the least likely to report domestic abuse. One would think, with all the attention domestic violence has been getting, victims would feel more empowered to speak up; yet that is not the situation. The outside observer may have a better understanding of why men do not come forward, as our society creates a veil of shame towards male victims, but at the same time, lack understanding towards the female victim.
Questions such as, “Why would she stay? Why didn’t she just leave?” may be asked. Those who are not victims, who have never been exposed to the situation in an intimate manner, may have a difficult time imagining what the victim is thinking…or not thinking! After all, who would put her/himself through such trauma? As a matter of fact, the human reaction is often to tease those whose answer is: I love him (her). This leads to some of the beginnings of the answers to the questions: why not tell when you are a victim, why not leave, why do you protect your abuser, why don’t you call the police?
A person can put him/herself in the minds of the victim for a moment—if I call the police, he/she may get more angry…even if s/he goes to jail, s/he’ll come after me once s/he gets out. Another reason might be fear that the offender will leave the relationship. While this may sound like a terrific idea to some, to the victim this could mean a perceived ‘end of the world’.
Next time, a more in depth look into the minds of the victims; a deeper look at the way they see it.
Harbor House of Central Florida
24 hour crisis line: 407-886-2856/1-800-500-1119
P.O. Box 680748
Orlando, FL 32868
Hours of Operation: 9AM – 5PM (Monday – Friday)