Domestic Violence is, physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or financial abuse that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship (family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparents, in-laws or step family). This includes violence such as female genital mutilation (FGM) so-called ‘honour’ crimes, forced marriage, and acts of behaviour.
Domestic Violence may include a range of abusive behaviour, not all of which are, in themselves, actually ‘violent’.
Most often domestic violence is committed by men against women, but it also happens in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships. Sometimes women abuse men and sometimes other family members may be involved.
Abusers and victims come from all different walks of life. This violence has no respect for class, age, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, disability, lifestyle or gender.
A violent perpetrator will use whatever there is in the home to maintain power and control over their family. For example, by harming a pet, a violent perpetrator can re-enforce a sense of terror within their family, and may not have to do anything else to prove their power. By hurting a pet they are demonstrating what they are capable of.
Recognising signs of abuse from a partner or family member is the first step to getting help. More
How does witnessing or being exposed to abuse or violence affect children. More
For Government and other definitions of Domestic Violence click here.