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Domestic violence, particularly between spouses is one of the leading causes of divorce around the world, as well as the cause of crimes committed in families. It is hard to realize, but this becomes the norm for our society. Domestic violence is a phenomenon that is common all over the world and in all segments of the population.
According to studies conducted by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, domestic violence is the most common form of violence against women worldwide. It does not know the ethnic, cultural and religious boundaries, does not depend on the level of education and socio-economic status and includes the systematic use of physical force, threats and intimidation aimed at the subordination of one partner to another (World Health Organization, 2002. p. 129).
Domestic violence is the repeating with increasing frequency cycle of physical, emotional, spiritual, verbal and economic abuse, aimed to control, intimidate, instilling fear (Reyes, 2002. p. 36).
But according to Cheryle Dawes, the term “domestic violence” means an abnormal abuse of one person against another consisting with him in a relationship (Dawes, 2004. pp. 312).
This is a situation in which one person controls, or tries to control the behavior and feelings of another partner. Within the family violence as a generalized category, there are more specific categories, defined by the nature of the relationship between the offender and victim, as well as their living conditions.
The object of domestic violence can be any family members. There are three kinds of family violence:
– Parents towards children;
– One spouse towards the other (according to statistics, women more often become victims of violence);
– Children and grandchildren towards elderly relatives (McGee, 2000. Pp. 140-142).
Typically, domestic violence is characterized by the following features:
If the physical violence has once already taken place, so usually every next case increases the frequency of its repetition, and the degree of cruelty.
Violence and abusive behavior alternates with promises of change and an apology given by the abuser.
During the attempt to break off the relations, there is noticed an escalation of danger for the victim.
Domestic violence occurs in all segments and categories of the population, regardless the class, racial, cultural, religious, socio-economic aspects; it is possible in the families of heterosexuals and gays and lesbians.
There are four main types of violence: physical, sexual, emotional and economic violence. (Shipway, 2004. pp. 159-161).
It often happens that domestic violence is seen as a combination of physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. The following information presents some examples from a range of abuse and violence. This list includes the behavior and actions that are violent and abusive.
By physical violence includes the following: murder, beatings, genital mutilation, forced abortion, infanticide, compulsion to give up food, compulsion to reject medical treatment, coercion/control in the reproduction, threat with weapon, and obstruction in applying for medical care, and so on.
Sexual violence includes: rape, incest, various types of sexual harassment, sexual intercourse committed with particular cruelty, abstaining from sex, manifestation of the exclusive jealousy and accusations in affairs with anyone.
Emotional violence includes: the restriction of behavior, threats, compulsion to getting married, constant criticism, yelling, ignoring the feelings of a partner, rejection from direct duties, manipulation with lies and dissent, the refusal to appear in public together, an obstruction in maintaining relationships with relatives, in public humiliation, threats to kick out of the house or kidnap children.
Economic violence includes: attempts to deprivation the opportunity to manage a budget, the economic pressure on under-age children, etc. This type of violence manifests itself in complete denial of personal funds; the impossibility for one of the partners to manage the budget of the family and, of course, to spend any money on himself.