So why are women more likely to be killed by their boyfriend than they were 35 years ago? Our campaign starts on these pages—full of real stories, hard science and guidance about exactly what to say and do. Why Young Women Are More at Risk Now We've come a long way since the 1980s, when movies like Farrah Fawcett's helped break decades of silence about relationship abuse.Back then "everyone thought that domestic violence and rape were rare occurrences," says Patricia Tjaden, Ph.
D., who headed the acclaimed National Violence Against Women Survey 10 years ago.
"Now there is a consensus among practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and the public that these types of violence are widespread." And yet it seems that greater awareness hasn't translated into a public condemnation of these crimes—instead, some days, our reaction looks like one giant cultural shrug.
"He had me in a choke hold against the wall, saying, I'm going to kill you.
No one will find your body; no one cares about you,'" Briggs, now 26, recalls.
One year ago, on May 3, the world lost Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old University of Virginia lacrosse player whose boyfriend now faces trial for her murder; he told police he shook her so hard her head repeatedly hit the wall.
And the headlines kept coming, telling the horror stories of New York swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay, 33, strangled and left in her hotel bathroom, allegedly by her boyfriend; Samantha Miller, 34, shot in the head on Christmas near a Tennessee Army base; Courtney Delano, 19, killed in Michigan when she was six months pregnant. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: Over the course of an average year in twenty-first-century America, more than 1,400 women will be murdered by someone they've loved.That means more than half of all women have been harmed by their partner. After all, as women, we're clearly no longer second-class citizens, so dependent on men's earnings and support that we must put up with brutal relationships simply because we have no choices.We have more choices than ever—and men are surely more enlightened. To honor the one-year anniversary of Yeardley Love's death, we're encouraging women to talk about relationship violence—both to ask for help and to offer it without judgment.D., a criminology expert at Northeastern University and former fellow of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, who analyzed the government data for /Harris Interactive random survey of 2,542 women ages 18 to 35—single, living together and married—a full 29 percent said they'd been in an abusive relationship.Another 30 percent said they'd never been abused but then went on to acknowledge that, at some point, a partner had viciously hurt them: from verbal degradation to being strangled or threatened with a knife.When she finished, he drove her to the Original Pancake House for her A. Briggs, a freckled, blue-eyed Beatles fan who was studying criminal justice, had first chatted with Matthew Hubbard over Instant Messenger five months earlier.After their first date, she hadn't been interested, but when Hubbard, a fellow student, begged her to give him a chance, she did.But these days it's become so acceptable for couples, colleagues and friends to text and email one another at any given moment that women may miss those early danger signs.What's more, GPS and computer spyware are cropping up increasingly in stalking and dating violence cases.She remembers thinking one simple thought: Overwhelmed, she began to sob. "I knew Alex's situation was getting really bad," Duymovic recalls.She had seen the bruises on Briggs' arms and noticed that she'd begun wearing glasses and heavy foundation; once bubbly, Briggs now spent most breaks tethered to her cell phone.