Domestic violence — also called domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. Men are sometimes abused by partners, but domestic violence is most often directed toward women. Domestic violence can happen in heterosexual or same sex relationships. It might not be easy to identify domestic violence at first. While some relationships are clearly abusive from the outset, abuse often starts subtly and gets worse over time.
You might be experiencing domestic violence if you’re in a relationship with someone who:
Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
Prevents you from going to work or school
Stops you from seeing family members or friends
Tries to control how you spend money, where you go, what medicines you take or what you wear
Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
Threatens you with violence or a weapon Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets
Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it
Portrays the violence as mutual and consensual
The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the greater the toll on your self-esteem. You might become depressed and anxious. You might begin to doubt your ability to take care of yourself or wonder if the abuse is your fault. You might feel helpless or paralyzed. If you’re an older woman who has health problems, you might feel dependent upon an abusive partner.
If you’re in a same sex relationship, you might be less likely to seek help after an assault if you don’t want to disclose your sexual orientation. If you’ve been sexually assaulted by another woman, you might also fear that you won’t be believed. Still, the only way to break the cycle of domestic violence is to take action — and the sooner the better. 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.  Alcohol consumption and mental illness 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.
Did you know over two women per week are killed by current or ex-partners, and that one in four women in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lifetime? In Women’s Aid’s view 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. At least 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime and between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 women experience it annually
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