Domestic violence

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence (IPV), is defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation.[1] Domestic violence, so defined, has many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.[1][2] Alcohol consumption[3] and mental illness[4] can be co-morbid with abuse, and present additional challenges in eliminating domestic violence. Awareness, perception, definition and documentation of domestic violence differs widely from country to country, and from era to era. Domestic violence and abuse is not limited to obvious physical violence. Domestic violence can also mean endangerment, criminal coercion, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, trespassing, harassment, and stalking.[5] Laws on domestic violence vary by country. While it is generally outlawed in the Western World, this not the case in many developing countries. For instance, in 2010, the United Arab Emirates's Supreme Court has ruled that a man has the right to physically discipline his wife and children as long as he doesn't leave physical marks.[6] The social acceptability of domestic violence also differes by country. While in most developed countries domestic violence is considered unacceptable by most people, in many regions of the world the views are different: according to a UNICEF survey, the percentage of women aged 15-49 who think that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances is, for example: 90% in Jordan, 85.6% in Guinea, 85.4% in Zambia, 85% in Sierra Leone, 81.2% in Laos, 81% in Ethiopia

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, domestic violence is: "the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another; also: a repeated / habitual pattern of such behavior."[8] The term "intimate partner violence" (IPV) is often used synonymously with domestic abuse/domestic violence. Family violence is a broader definition, often used to include child abuse, elder abuse, and other violent acts between family members.[9] Wife abuse, wife beating, and battering are descriptive terms that have lost popularity recently for several reasons: There is acknowledgment that many victims are not actually married to the abuser, but rather cohabiting or in other arrangements.[10] Abuse can take other forms than physical abuse. Other forms of abuse may be constantly occurring, while physical abuse happens occasionally. Males as well as females may be victims of domestic violence. These other forms of abuse have the potential to lead to mental illness, self-harm, and even attempts at suicide.[11][12] [edit]Government definitions The US Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines domestic violence as a "pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner". The definition adds that domestic violence "can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender", and can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse.[13] The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in the United Kingdom in its "Domestic Violence Policy" uses domestic violence to refer to a range of violent and abusive behaviours, defining it as: Patterns of behaviour characterised by the misuse of power and control by one person over another who are or have been in an intimate relationship. It can occur in mixed gender relationships and same gender relationships and has profound consequences for the lives of children, individuals, families and communities. It may be physical, sexual, emotional and/or psychological. The latter may include intimidation, harassment, damage to property, threats and financial abuse.[14] [edit]Dynamics classification Violence by a person against their intimate partner is often done as a way for controlling their partner, even if this kind of violence is not the most frequent.[15] Many types of intimate partner violence occur, including violence between gay and lesbian couples,[16] and by women against their male partners.[17] [edit]Intimate partner violence types Michael P. Johnson argues for four major types of intimate partner violence, which is supported by subsequent research and evaluation.[18][19][20][21] as well as independent researchers.[22][23][24] Distinctions are made among the types of violence, motives of perpetrators, and the social and cultural context based upon patterns across numerous incidents and motives of the perpetrator. Types of violence identified by Johnson:[17][19][25][26] Common couple violence (CCV) is not connected to general control behavior, but arises in a single argument where one or both partners physically lash out at the other. Intimate terrorism (IT) may also involve emotional and psychological abuse. Intimate terrorism is one element in a general pattern of control by one partner over the other. Intimate terrorism is less common than common couple violence, more likely to escalate over time, not as likely to be mutual, and more likely to involve serious injury.[17][25][27][28][29] IT batterers include two types: "Generally-violent-antisocial" and "dysphoric-borderline". The first type includes people with general psychopathic and violent tendencies. The second type are people who are emotionally dependent on the relationship.[17][30] Support for this typology has been found in subsequent evaluations.[31][32] Violent resistance (VR), sometimes thought of as "self-defense", is violence perpetrated by victims against their abusive partners.[25][30][33][34][35] Mutual violent control (MVC) is rare type of intimate partner violence occurring when both partners act in a violent manner, battling for control.[17][36] Types of male batterers identified by Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994) include "family-only", which primarily fall into the CCV type, who are generally less violent and less likely to perpetrate psychological and sexual abuse.[37] [edit]Other Others, such as the US Centers for Disease Control, divide domestic violence into two types: reciprocal, in which both partners are violent, and non-reciprocal violence, in which one partner is violent; it is possible that the former is more common[38][39] [edit]Forms All forms of domestic abuse have one purpose: to gain and maintain control over the victim. Abusers use many tactics to exert power over their spouse or partner: dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, denial and blame