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Domestic Violence

Background

Stories pertaining to willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence and emotional abuse.

Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. In some countries, domestic violence is often seen as justified, particularly in cases of actual or suspected infidelity on the part of the woman, and is legally permitted. There is evidence that there exists a direct and significant correlation between a country’s level of gender equality and actual rates of domestic violence. Domestic violence is among the most underreported crimes worldwide for both men and women. Men face additional gender-related barriers in reporting, due to social stigmas regarding male victimization, and an increased likelihood of being overlooked by healthcare providers.

Domestic violence occurs when the abuser believes that abuse is acceptable, justified or unlikely to be reported. It may produce intergenerational cycles of abuse in children and other family members, who may feel that such violence is acceptable or condoned. Very few people recognize themselves as abusers or victims because they may consider their experiences as family disputes that just got out of control.

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