By: Natalie Cruz
Published: August 18, 2023

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Oklahoma is the highest ranking state in the U.S. in domestic violence.

Advocates said more needs to be done to prevent tragedies like this.

The YWCA said at least 50 percent of Oklahomans will experience some kind of domestic violence in their lives. 

According to the YWCA, Oklahoma is ranked highest in the nation for domestic violence for both men and women, and third in the U.S. for the number of women killed by their partner, but there are resources across the state for victims.

The Palomar Family Justice Center in Oklahoma City provides legal services, employment assistance, medical resources and more.

Palomar CEO Hillary Burkholder said the center has seen an increase in the number of people utilizing their services year after year, and last year she helped more than 5,000 people.

“There are a lot of barriers for people reaching out often because the abuser has told them that things can get worse or will be harder and in fact when someone decides to leave they are at the risk of their physical health,” Burkholder said.

Which is why Palomar said it is so important for people to reach out to resources that can provide victims with a safety plan. 

Palomar is also housed under the YWCA. The group has a 24-hour domestic violence hotline. 

YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline: (405) 917-9922

They also have an emergency shelter for women and children called the Thelma Gaylord Emergency Shelter located near Northwest 39th Street and North May Avenue.

For more resources provided by Palomar, click here.

What is Domestic Violence?

The Office on Violence Against Women describes Domestic Violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship used by a person to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic Violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and involves behaviors that threaten, hurt, isolate, manipulate, humiliate, or injure another person. Children exposed to domestic violence are at risk of developing social and physical problems or learning that violence is a normal way of life.

How does Oklahoma compare nationally in Domestic Violence?

The Domestic Violence Intervention Services said Oklahoma ranks first in the country for the most domestic violence cases. Oklahoma is third in domestic violence homicides. The Young Women’s Christian Association reported over 43,000 domestic violence calls in Oklahoma in 2022, which resulted in almost 1,000 arrests.

For more information about Oklahomans impacted by Domestic Violence, click here.

What are some resources for Domestic Violence victims in Oklahoma?

The Oklahoma Domestic Violence hotline, (800) 522-SAFE (7233), and the 24-hour Safeline 1-800-522-SAFE (7233), provide assistance with safety planning, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking. The Abuse Hotline 1-800-522-3511 and the Elder Abuse Hotline 1-800-522-3511 also provide resources for escaping abusive situations.

For the full list of Oklahoma Domestic Violence resources, click here.

How often do people experience Domestic Violence in the United States?

In the United States, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually. On average, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive over 19,000 calls.

For more information from The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, click here.

What are some National resources for Domestic Violence?

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233 and the National Dating Abuse Helpline (866) 331-9474 for those in abusive situations or relationships. The Rape Abuse Incest National Network (800) 656-4673 also helps in cases of rape or incest.

The StrongHearts Native Helpline (844) 762-8483 helps culturally-specific helpline for Native Americans impacted by domestic, dating and sexual violence.

The National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp (800) 422-4453 is for any child who is being abused or neglected. The National Center for Elder Abuse 1-855-500-3537 will help with elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

For the full list of National Domestic Violence resources, click here.