Most alarming, things are only getting dangerous for some women: While overall female "intimate partner homicides," as these deaths are called, have dropped almost 20 percent since domestic violence awareness began in the 1970s, a closer look at data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that, frighteningly, among women who are dating—as opposed to married—the homicide rate is ."For girlfriends killed by boyfriends, especially white girlfriends, the homicide rates have actually risen slightly," says James Alan Fox, Ph.
Not long before sunrise on a Midwestern Friday, college student and part-time waitress Alexandra Briggs sat in her one-bedroom apartment, meticulously applying thick makeup all over her face, neck and arms.
It took two coats to cover her boyfriend's teeth marks and the cigarette burns he'd inflicted, along with her newly purpling bruises; her pants hid the spot on her thigh where he'd stabbed her with a fork. "I'm sick," she told her boss as she clocked in and headed to the restroom.
It all maddens attorney Gael Strack, cofounder of the National Family Justice Center Alliance.
"It's like, I just got charged with DV, what's the big deal? "In a lot of cases, there are few or no consequences."But cultural complacency may be only one reason relationship violence persists. For years experts have known—and told victims—that any partner who constantly needs to know where you are and what you're doing is a dangerous partner, that such "monitoring" often leads to physical violence.
"Abusers can now be on you 24/7," says Cindy Southworth, founder of the Safety Net Project, a team of experts on digital abuse at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.