Forms of domestic violence against women

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Domestic violence occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another. Domestic violence often refers to violence between spouses, or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexes and classes can be perpetrators of domestic violence.

Domestic violence has many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation, threats of violence.

Physical violence

  1. Domestic violence can take the form of physical violence, including direct physical violence ranging from unwanted physical contact to rape and murder. Most often physical injuries include bruises, burns, broken teeth, broken limbs, broken jaws, cracked tympanum. Victim is often hospitalized.

  2. Physical violence is the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing injury, harm, disability, or death, for example, hitting, shoving, biting, restraint, kicking, or use of a weapon

  3. Indirect physical violence may include destruction of objects, striking or throwing objects near the victim, or harm to pets.

  4. Physical violence aims to compel the victim and keep her in constant fear

Sexual violence

  • use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, whether or not the act is completed;

  • attempted or completed sex act involving a person who is unable to decline participation, or unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act, e.g., because of underage immaturity, illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or because of intimidation or pressure;

Emotional abuse

  • In addition to physical violence, spousal abuse often includes mental or emotional abuse, including verbal threats of physical violence to the victim, the self, or others including children, ranging from explicit, detailed and impending to implicit and vague, and verbal violence, including threats, insults, humiliating and attacks. Nonverbal threats may include facial expressions, body postures and gestures.

  • Emotional abuse can include humiliating the victim privately or publicly, controlling what the victim can and cannot do, withholding information from the victim, deliberately doing something to make the victim feel diminished or embarrassed, isolating the victim from friends and family, implicitly blackmailing the victim by harming others when the victim expresses independence or happiness, or denying the victim access to money or other basic resources and necessities.

  • Women who are being emotionally abused often feel as if they do not own themselves; rather, they may feel that their spouse has nearly total control over them.

Economic abuse

  • Economic abuse is when the abuser has complete control over the victim's money and other economic resources. Usually, this involves putting the victim on a strict "allowance," withholding money at will and forcing the victim to beg for the money until the abuser gives them some.

  • Economic abuse also includes preventing the victim from finishing education or obtaining employment, or intentionally squandering or misusing communal resources.


Stalking is a type of Intimate Partner Violence. Stalking generally refers to repeated behavior that causes victims to feel a high level of fear


Violence often is accompanied with psychological abuse, ranging from theats of violence with detailed description of following violent acts, to heavy insults and depreciation, all leading to failing in every day activities, social isolation, and sometimes triggers psychotic-like episodes or mental diseases in the victims.

Social isolation occurs when the abuser controls everything the woman does, who she meets, who she talks to, where she goes, what she reads, etc. He restrains her social and professional engagements, mail, phone calls, and justifies his behaviour with jealousy.

Financial control- when the abuser prevents the woman from her work, takes control over her savings, forces her beg him for money, takes away her access to financial resources and to information about the family budget, which makes the victim extremly vulnerable and dependant.

Emotional violence - The abuser makes the victim feel constantly guilty, unsatisfied by self, insane. This behaviour includes insulting and disqualifying the victim before friends and family, blaming her for things the abuser himself has done. The abuser denies the presence of violence and its seriousness. He claims that the victim is responsible for what happens in the couple and actually she is the one who provokes the violence.

Using the children to control or punish the spouse- the abuser makes the victim feel guilty for her children. He uses them to pass her messages, threatens that he is going to take them away, uses their visitations (in case of divorce) to control the victim. He also ruins the authority of the mother. Sometimes, abusers use the children as witnesses in the court against the victim or involve the children into attacks against the victim. This behavior is used to compel the victim to the abuser’s demands.

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