Survey Suggests We’re Not Talking about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

A study commissioned by the Avon Foundation for Women on the experiences and perceptions of domestic violence and sexual abuse found a lack of discussion and action on these issues by both teenagers and adults.

Data from the study, NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Adults  indicate that respondents felt these issues were important conceptually, but not much attention was given to them through words or actions, for example,

  • 60 percent of women and 75 percent of men had not discussed the topic of domestic violence with friends
  • 73 percent of parents with children under age 18 had not discussed the topic of sexual assault with their children
  • 15 percent of respondents felt that sexual abuse or domestic violence were problems among their friends
  • The majority of both male and female victims of domestic violence who had told someone about their situation reported that no one helped them

The Avon Foundation for Women plans to use this data to inform a new initiative to better train employers on the signs of domestic or sexual abuse and how to best support those who have experienced it. As the cost of domestic abuse in health care, mental health services and lost productivity amounts to billions of dollars each year, a scalable strategy to connect companies with local professionals to improve response and prevention efforts for families experiencing such crises is a step in the right direction.