Women’s Aid has identified six types of domestic violence. These include, physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, financial and abuse involving children.
Domestic violence is not a one-off occurrence but is usually frequent and persistent aimed at instilling fear into, and compliance from, the victim. In reality domestic violence and abuse is usually a pattern of persistent behaviour by the perpetrator designed to achieve power and control over the victim.
Domestic violence is a common problem in our society. It has more repeat offences than any other crime. On average there will be 35 assaults before a victim calls the police.
Women’s Aid defines domestic violence as:
the intentional and persistent physical or emotional abuse of a woman, or of a woman and her children, in a way that causes pain, distress or injury.
Key facts about domestic violence
- About 90% of reported cases are perpetrated by men against women.
- It is estimated that 1 in 4 women will suffer domestic violence at some point in their lives.
- Domestic violence occurs across society regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexuality, wealth or geography.
- Domestic violence is a violation of Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights – that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
- The joint NIO, DHSSPS Strategy Tackling Violence at Home estimates that the cost of domestic violence in Northern Ireland, including the potential loss of economic output, could amount to £180 million each year.
- UNICEF research released in 2006 showing per capita incidence, indicates that there are up to 240,000- 963,000 children across the UK are exposed to domestic violence.
- Over 30% of all domestic violence starts during pregnancy.
See also Am I being abused?