Doing something about Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) has come a long way in just 40 years. The days of a husband getting rough with his wife and just being asked to leave the house for a while, are over. Men are definitely no longer laughed out of precincts when they are assaulted by women.

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline , 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their life time.  In addition, it has been reported that nearly 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10 men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by a partner and report it having an impact on their ability to function. These statistics aren’t just reflective of the horror stories seen on the ID channel.

If these numbers seem harrowing on paper, imagine what they look like in real life. The factors surrounding victims of IPV are mostly complex yet understandable. However, when a victim is either brutalized to the point of death or narrowly escapes with their lives, they are often met with criticism. Telling another what they should’ve done in an unimaginable situation is always easy from the outside.

This Ted Talk given by Leslie Morgan Steiner paints a rather detailed picture of the life of an IPV victim. Her story is a great example of how this type of violence can happen to anyone at anytime. Domestic violence doesn’t have a specific face. It embodies all races, genders, sexual orientations and tax brackets. These victims have the faces of our sisters, best friends, teachers, and mailmen.

While laws have changed to protect victims of IPV, many people do not know where to go, who to turn to or what is realistic for their situation. Empathizing with a person in need, may be the first step to change. Instead of waiting for the day to receive a dreaded phone call, be in the know. Learn about what you can do to help your loved ones. If you know someone who is suffering, please do not turn a blind eye. If you are are suffering, get help today. Resources are available now.

Please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE or visit their website.