What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is characterized as physical violence, threats of physical violence or inspiring fear of physical or other forms of abuse toward a spouse or partner that an individual currently lives with or has lived with in the past.  Domestic violence is punishable by time in jail, fines, community service and other forms of consequences.

What Exactly Defines Domestic Violence?

If an individual physically hurts a partner or spouse whom they live with currently or have lived with in the past, it is domestic abuse.  This can include but is not limited to:

  • Punching or Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Scratching or Biting
  • Pushing or Shoving
  • Pulling/Holding or Squeezing in a  Way Which Causes Physical Pain

 

Domestic violence also includes emotional, mental or sexual abuse which one partner does to another.  This can include but is not limited to:

  • Rape
  • Forcing the Partner to Do Something He or She Does Not Want To Do
  • Calling the Partner Hurtful Names Continuously
  • Making the Partner Feel Shamed or Humiliated Continuously
  • Creating Fear in the Partner

While there are countless forms of domestic violence, it is better summed up as anything physical, mental, emotional or sexual which hurts the partner in any way at all.

Does Domestic Violence Only Occur between Individuals Who Live Together?

Although domestic violence usually occurs between individuals who live together, if abuse occurs between individuals who lived together previously – it is also called domestic violence.  It may not be individuals who are in a romantic relationship, either.  It could include roommates, adult children or others who live together but are not romantically involved.

Men versus Women

While most individuals consider ‘domestic violence’ to be violence against women by men, this is not always the case.  While it is estimated that women are around six times more likely to be on the bad end of the domestic violence, there have been many reports of domestic violence by women against men as well.  According to Suzana Rose, Ph.D. and representative of the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, domestic violence of women in gay relationships is about the same as those of women in heterosexual relationships.

Although the rate of domestic violence in the US has gone down in the last 6 to 7 years, it is still very common.  Anyone who feels as though they are a victim of domestic violence should deal with the situation immediately – which most often means leaving and getting away from the abuser.  Situations in which domestic violence are present tend to get worse as time goes by.

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