One in Four Women....
Never before has my life revolved around women so completely. I live with ladies, I work with ladies, I see lady patients all day long. Working in a women’s clinic isn’t a new experience for me, but working exclusively at one is. My days are full of pregnant bellies and itchy vulvas.
There’s this poster in the restroom at the clinic where I’m doing my obgyn rotation. The poster lists about 5 different phone numbers and websites women can get information from about how to deal with domestic violence in their lives. The poster says real big that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence. ONE. IN. FOUR. Every time I have to pee I see this poster and freak out a little more. Because, to state the obvious here, ONE IN FOUR is a lot. That’s 25% of women. (For some numbers: there are about 316 million people in the USA right now. Around half of those are women, and remember, ONE IN FOUR of those will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. That breaks down to 40 million women. 40 million victims of domestic violence.) This poster makes me uncomfortable each time I see it, so I decided to do some research on my own hoping that maybe 1 in 4 was going to be outdated or just wrong or a gross exaggeration.
At some point in her life:
1 in 4 women has been a victim of domestic violence 1
1 in 5 women has been raped 1
1 in 6 women has been stalked 1
Add those statistics to the fact that a woman working full time in America right now only earns 77% of what a comparably qualified/skilled man makes2 and now I’m starting to get pissed off instead of just freaked out. Because for every dollar a man earns, a woman doing the same job loses 23 cents simply because she had the misfortune of being born a woman.
Now I’m not saying that things aren’t better than they have been in the past, I’m just saying that this is insane. It’s mind-boggling. I don’t understand. I can’t wrap my head around it. But I’m telling you this because you should know. And you should care. And you should be absolutely pissed off.
Just remember: ONE IN FOUR
Here are some resources and info about domestic violence:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline- talk confidentially to someone 24/7, just call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or check out their website http://www.thehotline.org/
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has these great tips on keeping yourself safe: http://www.nrcdv.org/domestic-violence-safety-tips/