It is hard to know exactly how common domestic violence
is, because people often don't report it. There is no typical victim. It
happens among people of all ages. It affects those of all levels of income
According to the
Association, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are
physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse, spousal
abuse, or intimate partner violence) occurs when a family member, partner or
ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another.
Domestic violence often refers to violence between spouses, but can also
include non-married intimate partners. Domestic violence occurs in all
cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexes and classes can
be perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is perpetrated by
both men and women.
Domestic violence has many forms, including physical
violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation,
and threats of violence. Violence can be criminal and includes physical
assault (hitting, pushing, shoving), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual
activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial
abuse are not criminal behaviors in some legal systems, they are forms of
abuse and can lead to criminal violence.
U.S. 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
Emotional abuse is probably more common than physical
violence: This is the undermining of an individual's sense of self-worth
and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant
criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's
relationship with his or her children.
Please read this informative page from the
Against Women is a helpful resource.
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