Why So Many Domestic Violence Cases Go Unreported: A Discussion from Elgin, IL Domestic Violence Counseling Professionals

Why So Many Domestic Violence Cases Go Unreported

According to a 2018 US Department of Justice survey, only 47% of domestic violence cases are reported annually. That means that more than half of domestic abuse cases go unreported and unchecked in the USA, and Elgin is no exception.

So, why do so many domestic violence cases go unreported?

Here, we’ll discuss some of the reasons that victims fail to report domestic violence and why so many perpetrators go unpunished.

It is vital that you take any signs of domestic abuse seriously. Domestic violence counseling could save someone’s life, so can getting someone away from a dangerous situation.

Victims Fear the Consequences of Reporting

Many victims fear the consequences of reporting domestic violence to the police. They fear that not enough will be done to help protect them against their abuser, and thus their abuser will retaliate with further abuse for having gone to the police.

Because many victims have found the experience of reporting such behavior leaves them vulnerable, they have decided to stop reporting at all. At least, in this way, they feel they can have some control over of the situation.

Proof Might Be Minimal

When it comes to reporting crimes to the police, proof is paramount. However, in a domestic violence case, proof can be minimal. If the abuse is not physical, or only physical in certain ways, there might not be any physical evidence that the individual was abused.

Similarly, if a victim waits too long, there might not be proof at all because bruises heal. Additionally, bruises may not tell the whole story, as one can sustain bruising from other activities that can’t directly be connected to abuse.

As such, many domestic violence victims prefer to stay silent than to risk repercussions from their abuser, especially if the proof isn’t rock solid.

Victims Sometimes Feel Their Abuser Can Change

If you’re the friend or family member of someone being abused by a manipulative partner, you may have heard them make excuses for them, or you may have once made excuses for an abusive partner yourself.

Many times, victims feel that this is a one-time thing, or that the abuse isn’t a pattern. Maybe the person was drunk, or maybe they were just having a terrible day. Instead of reporting the incident, they explain it away in their heads and hope that their abuser will change.

Abuse Isn’t Always Easy to Spot

Abusers are great at making their victim question their own reality. As such, a victim might be getting abused routinely, but may feel as though they aren’t getting abused because their abuser is gaslighting them or making the abuse difficult to spot. It might be subtle, and it may shift over time, which can cause victims to question whether or not their abuse is real.

Domestic Violence Cases and Therapy in Elgin

Therapy can be a great way to heal from domestic violence. Whether you’re a perpetrator or a victim, getting to the root cause of the issue is extremely important to help stop domestic violence cases from repeating.

If you’re ready to take the next step in the Elgin area, contact us today.