How we explain domestic violence for better understanding?

This month’s blog aims to discuss how we explain domestic violence for better understanding. We will examine what domestic violence entails, its prevalence, underlying causes, and its impacts on individuals. However, it’s important to address the conventional terms “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence” as they’re not inclusive on all forms of violence and emotional abuse that occur within crafted relationships. While these terms often imply abuse between spouses or partners, they fail to acknowledge the full spectrum of abusive dynamics that can occur among individuals who have developed distorted relationships of reality.

When we think of “intimate partner violence,” our minds often go to violence between romantic partners. For instance, some individuals experience abuse from stalkers or individuals who immerse themselves into their lives, wearing some people down until they become exhausted. These cases should not be dismissed or labelled as domestic violence. Many abusers exhibit a pattern of repeating social harmful behaviour and moving on to new victims when chaos or crisis is discovered. This highlights the importance of asking individuals about the origins of their relationships. An example comes from a women’s project where I posed the question: How did you meet? Analysis revealed that 6 out of 8 women were victims of stalking and violent assaults, yet they had been incorrectly identified as victims of domestic violence because of some violence being in-house. This illustrates the need for a broader understanding of violence and abuse dynamics and the importance of asking the right questions to provide appropriate support.

Stalkers don’t just use overt methods to control their victims. They also employ behaviours such as harassment, using third parties, causing financial instability, surveillance through professionals, threatening violence, and even weaponising children to maintain control over someone’s life.

Recognising the limitations of terms like “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence,” we advocate for a simpler and broader understanding of abuse. By examining abusive behaviour in all kinds of crafted, created, and natural relationships, we can understand how it impacts everyone involved. This allows us to develop better ways to support those experiencing violence and emotional abuse.

Global Mission

In defining domestic violence and emotional abuse on a global scale presents significant challenges due to variations in cultural norms, legal frameworks, and societal attitudes across different countries. In some regions, there may be inadequate laws or enforcement mechanisms to protect women, girls, and LGBTQ+ communities from violence and abuse. In fact, in certain countries, there may even be tacit acceptance or promotion of such harmful behaviours.

Defining Domestic Violence 

At its core, domestic violence involves a range of harmful behaviours intended to exert power and control over another individual, potentially extending to children. These behaviours often stem from a perpetrator’s frustrations, fears, or desire to assert dominance. They can manifest in various forms, including physical violence, sexual coercion, emotional manipulation, financial insecurities, or psychological intimidation. In extreme cases, perpetrators may resort to using weapons, such as firearms, to instil fear and maintain control over their victims. This perpetuates cycles of abuse and reinforces power imbalances within relationships and society at large. Therefore, addressing domestic violence requires not only legal and policy interventions but also a concerted effort to challenge harmful cultural norms and promote gender equality and respect for human rights on a global scale.

Prevalence and Scope

Domestic violence is a widespread issue that affects individuals across various demographics and social backgrounds – from the rich to the poor. Studies show that millions of people worldwide experience violence within their homes and communities annually, with women and girls disproportionately affected. 

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that LGBTQ+ individuals also face high levels of abuse and violence, although it is often underreported and under researched.

Impacts on Victims and Survivors

The impacts of domestic violence extend far beyond physical harm, affecting victims emotionally, psychologically, and financially. Survivors often experience trauma, depression, anxiety, and diminished self-esteem, which can make it exceedingly difficult to break free from abusive situations. Unlike the profile in incompetent and vulnerable it’s also worth noting that some survivors excel in education, becoming professional advocates. Additionally, the effects of domestic violence can reverberate across generations, perpetuating cycles of abuse and trauma that are passed down through families but also in contrast some survivors encourage family members to take control and also become advocates (a form of champion).

Contributing Factors

Exploring the underlying causes of domestic violence requires a thorough examination and collective analysis of individual, relational, and societal factors. However, it’s crucial to emphasise that such research should never be used as an excuse for wrongdoing. As social scientists further investigate these issues, they also examine a range of abuse factors, including professional standards, personal biases, protocols, and processes that underpin policy and legislation. It’s essential not to overlook the influence of white-collar crime and power dynamics, rigid gender norms, untreated mental health conditions, and cultural attitudes towards violence, all of which contribute to perpetuating abuse.

Challenges in Addressing Domestic Violence

Despite advancements in legal frameworks and support services, victims often face significant hurdles when seeking assistance, including fear of reprisal, financial dependence on their abuser, and societal stigma. Unfortunately, even when victims seek legal assistance, they may encounter further obstacles, especially if the legal teams lack experience in handling such cases or if fees become a barrier. 

These challenges can complicate their pursuit of justice, highlighting the necessity for comprehensive support and expertise within the legal system.



It’s important to prioritise your mental and emotional well-being because engaging with distressing topics like domestic violence can have a significant impact on your mental health. Strong emotions or memories may arise, potentially leading to feelings of overwhelm or distress. Taking breaks and practicing self-care allows you to manage these emotions effectively, ensuring that you can engage with the topic from a place of safety and comfort. Your well-being matters, and it’s essential to prioritise you and your mind in any situation that may affect you emotionally or psychologically.

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