A Quiet Epidemic: Domestic Abuse in the Rural Heartland

Tessa Solomon


In forgotten pockets of rural America - towns populated by less than 500, miles from any major highway - domestic abuse is a dire issue. Studies consistently isolate similar variables in Intimate Partner Violence exacerbation: long travel times, a deficit of health-care providers, a lack of amenities such as transportation, telecommunications, and education. So, what resources are available to victims in these areas? How does geography and community influence trends of domestic violence? By analyzing national statistics, investigating resources, and interviewing advocates, this paper attempts to answer some of those questions. Near-universal characteristics complicating the issue were found: high gun ownership, unemployment, low education, patriarchal communities, and a fear of reporting.