Definition

Everyone has the right to live in a safe environment, free from violence, abuse and neglect.  Sadly, homes can be one of the most dangerous places for violence towards girls and women.  When violence occurs, it is often inflicted by someone in a position of trust, such as a husband, intimate partner, father or other relative.

Domestic Violence is defined as:

Any use of physical or sexual force, actual or threatened, in an intimate relationship.  It may include a single act of violence, or a number of acts forming a pattern of abuse through the use of assaultive and controlling behaviour.  The pattern of abuse may include: physical abuse; emotional abuse; psychological abuse; sexual abuse; criminal harassment; threats to harm children, other famiy members, pets and property.  The violence is used to intimidate, humiliate or frighten a partner of an intimate relationship, or to make them powerless.

Domestic violence is also commonly referred to as: Domestic abuse; domestic assault; domestic conflict; spousal abuse; spousal assault; battering; intimate partner abuse; intimate partner assault; relationhsip abuse; and family violence.

The United Nations Declaration on Violence Against Women provides a basis for defining gender-based violence.  According to Article One of the declaration, violence against women is:

“Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occuring in public or private life”.

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