By expressing this specific act as “violence” instead of “abuse” highlights the importance the Scottish Government, law officials and aid agencies put on its impact and consequences.
In the eyes of the Law, domestic violence has a specific definition; “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.”
Although this behaviour has now been termed as domestic “violence”, not all the behaviour in this category need be physically ‘violent’ e.g. by the Government’s own definition, it could be psychological, financial or emotional – none of which may involve actual physical violence but may involve verbal aggression, cruelty, sadism or hostility (all various forms of “violence”).
In short, domestic violence is one person exerting systematic abusive power and control over another.
Domestic violence can be experienced by women and men whatever their age, ability, race, colour, class, religion or sexuality and the violence can begin at any stage of a relationship and may even continue after the relationship has ended.
This definition can include forced marriages and so-called ‘honour crimes’.
It is usually women who are at the receiving end of domestic violence, and it is often men who are responsible. However, men are also victims of domestic violence from female partners.
Domestic violence also exists within gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender relationships.
Articles specific to Domestic Violence:
- Domestic Violence Against Women
- Domestic Violence Against Men
- Domestic Violence Against Children
- Domestic Violence Against the Elderly
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