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Why We Must Listen To Statistics AND Victim's Stories

Every day, we are bombarded with statistics. They come at us from every angle: on the news, in our social media feeds, and even in casual conversation. Statistics can be helpful in giving us a broad overview of a situation. They can help us to understand trends and to make informed decisions. But we must be careful not to let statistics overshadow the very real stories of the people that they purport to represent.

All too often, when we discuss issues like domestic violence, we rely solely on statistics. We talk about how many women are assaulted each year, how many children are impacted by domestic violence, and what the financial cost of domestic violence is to society. These statistics are important, and they help us to understand the scope of the problem. But we cannot forget that behind each of these numbers is a real person who has been through a traumatic experience.

Consider the case of Regina*. Regina is a 38-year-old mother of two who was recently a victim of domestic violence. For weeks, her partner had been verbally abusive, calling her names and telling her that she was worthless. He would smash things in their home when he was angry and sometimes, he would push her or grab her arm hard enough to leave bruises. One night, after an especially intense argument, he hit her so hard that she was knocked unconscious. When she woke up in the hospital hours later, she learned that she had suffered a concussion and several broken bones.

This is just one story out of millions; every day, women (and men) all over the world experience this kind of abuse at the hands of their intimate partners. We cannot think about these stories only in terms of numbers; we must remember that there are real people behind them who deserve our compassion and our support.

Statistics give us an important overview of the prevalence of domestic violence in our society. But it is so important that we do not forget the human stories behind those numbers. The next time you see a statistic about domestic violence, take a moment to think about the people who have experienced it firsthand. Remember that each number represents a real person who deserves our compassion and support.

*name changed to protect the identity

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