Domestic violence is physical, psychological ( emotional), sexual or financial abuse that takes place within an intimate or family type relationship and usually forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.
Approximately 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women and the perpetrator is usually male. Whilst most people normally think of domestic violence as being something one partner does to another, abuse by your own family or your partner/ spouse’s family is also domestic violence.
The abuse is used most frequently by men to maintain power over ‘their’ women within family relationship. But children, and other family members, can also be hurt.
It can include a range of behaviour:
Physical violence – slapping, burning, beating, kicking, biting, knife wounds often leading to permanent injuries, and sometimes death.
Sexual abuse – rape, forced sexual acts, sexual degradation.
Emotional abuse – intimidation, bullying, constant criticism, keeping someone locked up, and isolated from friends and family.
Threats – to harm her family, to take her children away, to kill her.