Also called intimate partner violence, wife beating, wife battering, man beating, husband battering, relationship violence, domestic abuse, spousal abuse, family violence, mutual battery, intimate terrorism and patriarchal terrorism.




  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, domestic violence makes up 21% of all violent crime experienced by women. Every year in the United States there are an estimated 2.5 million incidents of domestic violence against women, and, far too often, children witness their parents’ abusive relationship.
  • Children who grow up in a violent environment are more likely to perpetuate the cycle of violence: boys are more likely to be come abusive and girls are more likely to tolerate abuse if they’ve witnessed this type of relationship growing up. Domestic violence, therefore, spreads like a disease. Treatment seems permanently stuck in triage mode. The response of domestic shelters is mostly limited to a short term quarantine of a minority of the carriers.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting more than 32 million Americans. That is more than 10% of the U.S. population (Tjaden and Thoennes 2000).
  • Domestic violence occurs in all cultures, races, ethnicities, and religions. Domestic violence is perpetrated by, and on, both men and women, and occurs in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.
  • A third of the cases of domestic violence are actually reported.



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