Lindsay Lohan is speaking out about domestic violence after a recent fight with her fiancé, Russian millionaire Egor Tarabasov, was splashed across the headlines.
In July, British tabloids published a video of what appears to be a fight between the actress and her fiancé, with the former screaming: "'Please please please. He just strangled me. He almost killed me." According to The Sun, Lohan also said in the video, "You [Egor] can't strangle a woman constantly and beat the shit out of her and think it's ok."
But the sad truth is, the violence Lohan experienced is far from unique. In many ways, her experience exemplifies widespread patterns of domestic and relationship violence.
1. Women are more likely to experience violence at the hands of a boyfriend or family member than a stranger.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four American women will experience "severe physical violence" from an intimate partner. Reports by the Bureau of Justice reveal that time after time, "females are generally murdered by people they know." The same goes for many other crimes, such as sexual assault.
2. Intimate partner violence is vastly underreported.
After weeks of avoiding paparazzi and speculation about her love life, Lohan finally spoke out in an interview with the Daily Mail last weekend. "I've kept quiet for so long but now I'm scared of what Egor might do to me and to himself," Lohan told the Daily Mail. "It's not the first time. That's the problem."
Lohan isn't alone. The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that only half of domestic violence incidents are actually reported to police, while just one out of five victims with physical injuries seek medical help. Often, this silence is compounded by fear and personal histories of abuse.
3. Women who witness or experience abuse as children often experience violence as adults.
In the actress' recent interview about her own relationship, she talked about her family history and her decision to stop staying silent. "I've become my mother," she told the Daily Mail. "I realize now you can't stay in a relationship just for love."
Lohan's interview revealed some harsh truths about the vicious cycle of domestic violence. According to reports published by the Australian Institute of Criminology, "women who experienced abuse during childhood were one and a half times more likely" to experience violence as an adult, meaning 78% of surveyed women who experienced violence as adults had first experienced abuse as children.
Even children who witness abuse but aren't victimized themselves are often more likely to keep silent. "They don't have a model for anything different," psychologist Craig Malkin told Time. "They accept it as the price of intimacy."