A victim of domestic violence sits crouched on the floor with her knees drawn up and her face in her arms.

Social Workers Play Key Role in Fight Against Domestic Violence

Violence against women, including domestic violence, is ongoing in the United States and worldwide. Even in countries where laws protect women and a social infrastructure exists advocating for women’s rights, domestic violence remains a significant public health issue.

Statistics paint a grim picture. Worldwide, about a third of all women report being victims of physical or sexual violence.

Social workers play an essential role in combating violence against women. Domestic violence is among the most common issues that social workers deal with every day. Working on the front lines, social workers are positioned to advocate for women and help ensure the safety of domestic violence victims and their children.

Alarming Domestic Violence Against Women Statistics

Women face the prospect of violence every day in countries around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls domestic violence a “major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.”

A study by WHO revealed alarming statistics on domestic violence against women in 161 countries. About 30 percent of women worldwide–736 million women–reported being subjected to physical or sexual violence. In most cases, the perpetrator of violence was an intimate partner.

The study found that 27 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have been in a romantic/intimate relationship and subjected to physical and/or sexual violence. Intimate partners commit about 38 percent of all murders of women worldwide.

Risk factors associated with domestic violence against women include the abuser having a lower level of education, a history of exposure to family violence, harmful use of alcohol, and exhibiting controlling behaviors towards women.

Other related types of abuse are also on the rise. For example, two out of 10 women between the ages of 18 and 29 in the United States report “cyber harassment” that involves getting sexually harassed online, according to the United Nations. One in two say they received unwarranted explicit images.

Social Workers Play Important Role As Advocates for Women

Social workers provide essential services and support in domestic violence prevention. Because they engage with the whole family, social workers often recognize the signs of potential domestic violence first. They can quickly connect women with law enforcement and the necessary services to ensure their safety when domestic violence occurs.

Social workers provide counseling and support to women through shelter programs, individual counseling sessions, and advocating for women in court. Focusing on public policy allows social workers to promote programs and laws that address domestic violence.

Social workers also have the knowledge and skills to help women manage the impact of domestic abuse. Those impacts can include long-term damage to their relationship with their children, mental health, and parenting ability.

Because they engage with an entire family, social workers may also work with the perpetrators, challenging them to change their behavior and connecting them with programs to help them accomplish that goal.

Touro University Worldwide Social Work Degree Program

Touro University Worldwide offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. The 100% online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work program is designed for working adults, allowing them to earn a degree while maintaining their work responsibilities.

Students pursuing the bachelor’s program full-time can complete the degree program in three and a half years. The 90-credit transfer policy significantly shortens the time it takes to earn a degree.

The program teaches the skills and knowledge required to become effective social workers. TUW’s BSW program also helps professionals hone skills in communication, empathy, patience, psychological knowledge, and attention to detail.

Overall, social workers play a critical role in the fight against domestic violence. By earning a bachelor’s degree, graduates prepare to become effective advocates for women and a guide in helping women escape abusive and violent environments.

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