Domestic violence is physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. Crime statistics and research both show that domestic violence is gender specific, usually the perpetrator of a pattern of repeated assaults is a man. Any woman can experience domestic violence regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, class, sexuality, disability or lifestyle. Battering is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Battering happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another. Assault, battering and domestic violence are crimes.
Acts of domestic violence generally fall into one or more of the following categories:
Physical Battering: The abuser's physical attacks or aggressive behaviour can range from bruising to murder. This usually begins with what is excused as trivial, but then escalates into more frequent and serious attacks.
Sexual Abuse: Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual violence wherein the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activity. Psychological Battering: The abuser's psychological or mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, and isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property. Domestic violence escalates. It often begins with behaviours like name-calling, threats, violence in the victim's presence (such as punching a fist through a wall), and/or damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to restraining, pushing, slapping, and pinching. The battering may include punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, tripping, and throwing. At its most extreme, it may become life threatening with serious behaviours such as...