The sad fact is that domestic violence is part of the country's fabric, costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives each year. The numbers numb the senses: one in four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. Each year, 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by their intimate partners. Every 25 seconds, minute after minute, day after day, a woman is beaten or physically threatened by her intimate partner. About one third of all female murder victims died at the hands of an intimate partner. Last year, more than 35,000 court cases of domestic violence were reported in Maryland, about 16,000 of them being assaults against women; more than 4,000 cases of domestic violence against men were also reported. The actual number is probably much higher. Spousal or partner abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the country.