Domestic violence is an often well-hidden aspect to dysfunctional relationships. It can be defined as any sexual or physical force, whether actual or implied, towards any partner in an intimate relationship. Whether a single act or a series of threatening behaviours, domestic violence is abuse through the use of emotional or physical coersion, bodily harm or excessive controlling conduct. The behaviour pattern of an abusive partners may include:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional exploitation
- Psychological debasement
- Sexual misconduct
- Personal harassment such as stalking
- Threats toward other family and non-family members, including children, associates, pets, or property
Domestic violence often is used to dominate, terrify or intimidate an intimate partner to make them easier to control. These partnerships can involve same sex or opposite sex partners, including present or previous dates, spouses, common-law partners or people who have had children toigether whether they have ever shared accomodations or not.