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Domestic Violence

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFINITION

Domestic Violence is a pattern of physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, which includes, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or financial control. Domestic Violence is an intentional pattern of behavior that is used by one person as a means to harm and take power and control over another person in the context of a dating, family, roommate or caretaker relationship.

Domestic Violence is maintained by societal and cultural attitudes, institutions, and laws that often do not identify this type of violence as wrong. Domestic violence knows no boundaries in terms of socioeconomic status, religion, race, ethnicity, ability, age, sexual orientation, immigration status or gender. Domestic violence between intimate partners occurs at the same rate in both heterosexual and same-sex couples. While domestic violence occurs in all communities and the pattern of abusive behavior is often universal, it is important to note that abusive tactics, barriers to services, subjective experience of abuse, criminal justice response, and level of family and community support can vary based on socioeconomic status, religion, race, ethnicity, ability, age, sexual orientation, immigration status or gender.

 

This project was supported by Grant No. 2002-WA-BX-0011 awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women and the U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.