The term domestic violence is often misunderstood. Many people believe that is simply confined to physical violence by one party toward another. The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines as
“Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior used in a relationship to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.”
This is a commonly accepted definition in the psychological community by experts in the field of domestic violence.
Historically, domestic violence has been framed and understood exclusively as a women’s issue. Men also can be victims of abuse. Children are affected by exposure to domestic violence. The effects of domestic violence on victims are more typically recognized, but perpetrators also are impacted by their abusive behavior as they stand to lose children, damage relationships, and face legal consequences. The issue of domestic violence often plays a significant role in regard to the court awarding legal decision-making and parenting time. Domestic violence cuts across every segment of society and occurs in all age, racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual orientation, and religious groups. Domestic violence is a social, economic, and health concern that does not discriminate.