What is domestic violence or abuse?
The answer to this depends on who you ask for their definition. Society, media and a lack of knowledge tends to lead some people to believe that domestic violence only happens if the victim is beaten to a pulp. It can give people the belief that couples argue and it is normal because that is how relationships work. This only adds to the problem of the crime and act of domestic violence not being taken serious enough for the devastating act that it is.
Below are some definitions from different agencies on how they perceive domestic violence.
Domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’.
Domestic violence is “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.”
Warwickshire DV Support Services
Domestic violence is abuse, physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or financial, perpetrated by one partner over the other regardless of age, ethnicity, culture, religion or sexuality, in a current or recent ended relationship. Domestic violence is not an incident but a process of victimisation and control often spanning many years and involving a variety and combination of behaviours.