Domestic violence, also named as domestic abuse or family violence, is violence or other abuse in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is often used as a synonym for intimate partner violence which is committed by one of the people in an intimate relationship against the other person, and can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships or between former spouses or partners. In it’s broadest sense, domestic violence also involves violence against children, teenagers, parents or the elderly. It takes multiple forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive and sexual abuse which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death.

Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. Research has established that there exists a direct and significant correlation between a country’s level of gender equality and rates of domestic violence, where countries with less gender equality experience higher rates of domestic violence. Domestic violence is among the most underreported crimes worldwide for both men and women. Due to certain social stigmas regarding the victims of domestic violence, they face an increased likelihood of being overlooked.

The first known use of the term domestic violence in a modern context, meaning violence in the home, was in an address to the Parliament of the United Kingdom by Jack Ashley in 1973. Traditionally, domestic violence was mostly associated with physical violence. But now domestic violence is defined broadly to include all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that may be committed by a family member or intimate partner.


Often women and children are the soft targets of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a gruesome crime that also causes a number of deaths. Some of the most common causes of domestic violence are illiteracy and economical dependency on the men folk. The male-dominated society plays an important role in this problem. Further, Dowry is also one of the leading causes which have the consequence of violence against newly-wed brides. In many parts of the world, physically assaulting women and passing horrendous remarks is common.

Moreover, children also become victims of this inhuman behavior more than often. It is important to recognize the double standards and hypocrisy of the society. A lot of the times, the abuser is either psychotic or requires psychological counselling. However, in a more general term, domestic violence is the outcome of cumulative irresponsible behavior which a section of society demonstrates. It is also important to note that solely the abuser is not just responsible but also those who allow this to happen and act as mere mute spectators.



  • death, illness, injury and disability- domestic and family violence is the leading cause of death, illness, disability for women aged under 45.
  • emotional and psychological trauma- the devastating impact on an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health including depression, shame, anger and suicide.
  • homelessness.
  • use of alcohol and drugs to heal the pain.
  • physical health injuries and problems which may not get medically treated.


  • Violence and the threat of violence at home creates fear and can destroy family environments and lead to the break-up of the families.
  • frequent moving to avoid the abuser.
  • regular household conflict.
  • child protection or police involvement.

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