Domestic violence occurs when two people are in an intimate relationship and one person uses a pattern of coercion and control against the other person during the relationship and/or after the relationship has ended.

Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or economic.


Nearly one-third of American women (31%) report being physically or sexually assaulted by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund survey, 1998)

1 out of every 5 couples experienced domestic violence in the past year. (American Journal of Public Health 1998;88:1702-1704)

Approximately 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women. (Statistics, National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Ruth Peachey, M.D. 1998)

One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the US. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991)

Women of all cultures, races, occupations, income levels, and ages are battered by husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and partners. (For Shelter and Beyond. Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Service Groups, Boston, MA 1990)

Fifty percent of all homeless women and children in this country are fleeing domestic violence. (Senator Joseph Biden, US Senate Committee of the Judiciary, Violence Against Women Victims of the System. 1991)


Domestic violence & sexual assault affect Pender County residents. Safe Haven serves victims from all over the county and surrounding counties every year. The majority of our sheltered clients are women with children making the majority of our sheltered clients children.



Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact or attention achieved by force, threats, bribes, manipulation, pressure, tricks, or violence. It may be physical or non-physical and includes rape, attempted rape, incest and child molestation, and sexual harassment. Sexual assault is a crime of violence, anger, power and control where sex is used as a weapon against the victim.

Sexual assault, or rape, is a violent crime, not a sexual act.


Every minute in the United States, there are 1.3 forcible rapes of adult women; 78 women are forcibly raped each hour. Every day 1,871 women are forcibly raped, equating to 56,916 forcible rapes each month.  (National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1992)

The rate of sexual assault in the U.S. is the highest of any industrialized nation in the world.  A.J. Reiso, Jr. and J.A. Roth. (Eds.) (1993) (Understanding and Preventing Violence. Washington DC: National Academy Press)

Seventy eight percent of rapes involve a person the victim knew including: husbands/ex-husbands (9%), fathers/step-fathers (11 %), boyfriends/ex-boyfriends (10%), other relatives(16%), friends/ neighbors (29%). National Victim Center (April 23, 1992) (Facts about Rape in America. Arlington, VA: National Victim Center.)

Women aged 16 to 24 are 3 times more likely to be raped than other women. (US Department of Justice, 1991)

Women don't lie about rape. The FBI reports that false accusations account for only 2% of all reported sexual assaults. This is no higher than false reports for any other crime. (Myths and Facts About Sexual Assault, National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Harrisburg, PA 1993)


No one asks to be sexually assaulted. Nor does anyone's behavior justify or excuse the crime. People have a right to be safe from a sexual violation at any time, any place and under any circumstance. The offender, not the victim, must be held responsible for this crime.