Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse or intimate partner violence, is any pattern of behavior that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It encompasses all physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This is one of the most common forms of violence experienced by women globally.
Domestic violence can include the following.
Economic violence involves making or attempting to make a person financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding access to money, and/or forbidding attendance at school or employment.
Psychological violence involves causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner or children; destruction of pets and property; “mind games”; or forcing isolation from friends, family, school and/or work.
Emotional violence includes undermining a person’s sense of self-worth through constant criticism; belittling one’s abilities; name-calling or other verbal abuse; damaging a partner’s relationship with the children; or not letting a partner see friends and family.
Physical violence involves hurting or trying to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, burning, grabbing, pinching, shoving, slapping, hair-pulling, biting, denying medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use, or using other physical force. It may include property damage.
Sexual violence involves forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent.