women, and Native American women face domestic violence at rates more
than double of other races.
10 Young women, low-income women and women in some minority groups suffer disproportionately higher instances of
domestic violence and rape.
11 In addition to race and ethnicity, income is
also a factor in who suffers domestic violence.
12 The lower the household
income, the higher the rate of domestic violence in the house; women in the
lowest income category experience domestic violence at more than five
times the rate of domestic violence.
13 Domestic violence affects women in
rural, suburban and urban areas; and women who are employed and unemployed.
14 Women in Maryland have the sixth highest prevalence of rape,
physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in the United
States, affecting about forty-two percent of the state’s female population.
A common myth is that women who are victims of domestic violence
can leave their abusers and choose not to.
16 Victims who receive the right
legal assistance early in the process of leaving increase their chances of obtaining the protection and financial security they need to leave their abusers
17 Most victims of domestic violence leave, or attempt to leave
18 Because many abusers use physical violence, financial control, or threats about child custody, many victims have a difficult time leaving permanently.
19 In fact, ninety-eight percent of abusive relationships involve financial abuse and survivors have stated in surveys that concern over
the ability to provide financially for themselves and their children was one
of the top reasons for staying in or returning to the relationship.”
20 Since the
risk of further violence often increases after victims leave their abusers, it
can be more difficult for victims to leave if they cannot obtain effective legal relief.
21 If victims can overcome the financial barriers through remedies
from the court, the victim can leave the abuser and maintain safety. Unfor-
10. Domestic Violence Statistics, supra note 9.
12. RANASAMPSON, U.S.DEP’T OFJUSTICE,OFFICE OFCMTY.ORIENTEDPOLICING
SERVS., DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROBLEM-ORIENTED GUIDES FOR POLICE PROBLEM-SPECIFIC
GUIDES SERIES 11-12 (2007), available at
_violence.pdf; see also Domestic Violence Statistics, supra note 9.
13. SAMPSON, supra note 12, at 11.
14. See id.
15. Md. Coal. Against Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault in Maryland (Jan. 2012),
16. See Violence and Domestic Abuse – Myths and Facts, supra note 9.
20. Colo. Bar Ass’n, The Challenges and Effects of Leaving an Abusive Relationship,
http://www.cobar.org/index.cfm/ID/21090 (last visited May 22, 2014).