What Makes Women Afraid To Report Domestic Violence?

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Two weeks ago Florida Gators defensive back Deiondre Porter fired a gun in the direction of his pregnant girlfriend, but he was not arrested until this past Wednesday, because she was afraid to come forward. The altercation began after Porter had reportedly accused his girlfriend of sleeping with a fellow teammate, a claim she denied.

The story got worse when it turned out that Porter had been arrested for four felony charges, one of which included domestic violence. The most looming issue isn’t the gun being fired. It was the fact that his girlfriend was so mortally afraid to come to police. According to police spokesman Ben Tobias:

“She said she was scared. She was dealing with a well-known UF football player and she was honestly terrified to come to the police and report it”

That is what is scary in this case. She knew she had to report it but couldn’t because of the repercussions that could happen. Unreported cases seems to be a growing trend in domestic violence, according to the DOJ:

“Only a little over half of cases are reported to authorities, and only about a third of victims injured in intimate partner violence receive medical care”

This adds up to nearly 20 people being physically abused by a domestic partner every minute. And nearly one-third of women have been or will be victims of domestic violence. The effects of domestic violence go well beyond the visible. According to a 2003 study, domestic violence causes women to miss a total of 8 million paid days of work. This doesn’t even account for therapy fees that can cost over $200 an hour. While cases of domestic violence have dropped over the past decade, cases like Ray Rice and Greg Hardy have shed new light on the issue and shown that even athletes aren’t above the law. Now we can add Deiondre Porter to that list.

The solution might not be easy, but it begins by taking a stand against domestic violence. Women and men alike shouldn’t have to live in fear if they do experience domestic violence. Steps should be taken to insure that people know how to report it safely.

To help combat this rise in domestic violence, the DOJ launched NO MORE, a project dedicated to ending sexual assault and domestic violence by raising public awareness and to engage bystanders to take a stand and say “NO MORE.”

Tanner Bisbee hails from the great State of Maine. He's a full time college student and serves on the football staff at school. His most notable work to date is his book Modern Day Sports Blog. To read more check out my blog http://moderndaysportsandpolitics.blogspot.com/