Some thoughts on domestic violence

How do you define domestic violence?

Our definition of domestic abuse is now far wider and acknowledges the more subtle and sometimes unobservable behaviours of a violent person. We now think of violence as having many facets to it, including emotional, financial, social, sexual, psychological and verbal abuse alongside the overt physical abuse that has been acknowledged for years.

Is it always men or do women engage in domestic violence too?

Some women do but they are in the minority. Research suggests that domestic violence is related to issues of power and control, and to the beliefs of men who are violent that they are entitled to keep their house in order, to have their partner look after them and to ensure that children are ‘kept in their place’. Men are also, to a great extent, physically stronger than women and able to wield their power through their physical presence. This creates a significant difference between the numbers of men and women who are violent.

How does domestic violence between a husband and wife affect their children?

Significantly. Even when children are not present during violent episodes, they are affected. Often they’re aware something is happening, or has happened.