Domestic Violence: Hidden Epidemic in America

ABC News' Pierre Thomas on the implications of the Ray Rice scandal on the NFL and across the nation.
4:09 | 09/18/14

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Transcript for Domestic Violence: Hidden Epidemic in America
He came behind me. Hit me. -- -- -- -- I fell out. Blood was coming out of my -- profusely. I had a blackout which if you look closely tests ahead of them wearing a Roma. I had my head bust open -- fifteen stitches -- -- That's -- Donna's husband did to her. She keeps his photo as a reminder of what she into port. Abuse. Never stopped. If it wasn't physical. And it was -- -- -- once and for all it was a motion. It was horrific. Domestic abuse it's America's dark secrets usually happening behind closed doors hidden. But this week the country Starwood domestic violence looks like up close and personal. With that shocking video of -- FL player Ray Rice knocking out his then fiancee. Domestic violence put simply is a chronic national epidemic and pick -- runs -- for battered women in our nation's capital. We get a whole range. Injuries from the survivors that are coming and if they're coming tell us from the hospital. They may have opened wounds they may have broken limbs Tiffany -- use this year's tolerating verbal abuse from her partner often not even realizing it was abuse. Emotionally -- feel that that was the only right we. Felt it was -- and I was buying into defected to actually was abuse. Until she says that abuse allegedly got physical. That's when I think enough is enough it's -- to escape now before myself before my two to address. According to the Justice Department in 2012. Nearly 665000. Women were victims of domestic violence. That seven -- by women every hour. For this problem ground zero is every town. Every student. In the DC area. The local domestic violence shelters he had served over 30000 domestic violence and -- -- -- about 30000. But despite the stunning level of violence 70% of domestic violence cases don't Indian prosecutions. As victims choose not to press charges and stay in violent relationships. From the police school that's still protecting him now is because you loved it. I -- -- very much in your heart you didn't believe that the person that supposed to love and protect me. Would not hurt me in this way. Enormous abuse ended only after prosecutors moved on with Arab group corporation. And her husband was convicted and get so much better and ham. Because some real asset doesn't have anything to do with -- Tiffany is now living independently and enrolled in college studying to become a homicide detective. She also started a support group to help other women escape domestic violence. Pay attention to the science. Domestic violence is now always physical abuse sometimes verbal emotional. Sexual abuse it's back to my best motto is always it's you have to want -- they you have to love yourself more. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- some cities prosecutors and police are aggressively pursuing cases even when the victims don't cooperate. Hyde point North Carolina is one of them that the victims is continuing to be psychologically abused. If not physically abused. And that person just cannot be responsible for the prosecution has to be at stake the FBI's encouraging police to do the basics like take photographs of victim injuries. -- more witnesses. Those tactics apparently do work in the five years before we begin this we had seventeen domestic related homicides. In the five years since we've only had wore a glimmer of hope amidst the tragedy of domestic violence which claimed the lives of nearly 1000 women. In 2012. Where you willing to stay with a -- that went. -- -- -- Be an on -- -- and you might be dead yet. -- this week Pierre Thomas ABC news Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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