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Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse, battering, or family violence) is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence.In some countries, domestic violence is often seen as justified, particularly in cases of actual or suspected infidelity on the part of the woman, and is legally permitted.Research has also shown there to be a direct and significant correlation between a country's level of gender equality, and actual rates of domestic violence.Domestic violence occurs when the abuser believes that abuse is acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported.It may produce intergenerational cycles of abuse in children and other family members, who may feel that such violence is acceptable or condoned.Very few people recognize themselves as abusers or victims because they may consider their experiences as family disputes that just got out of control.
In abusive relationships, there may be a cycle of abuse during which tensions rise and an act of violence is committed, followed by a period of reconciliation and calm.
Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, cultural acceptance, lack of financial resources, fear, shame, or to protect children.
As a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances, and poor ability to create healthy relationships.
Victims may experience psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as dysregulated aggression which may later contribute to continuing the legacy of abuse when they reach adulthood.
Traditionally, domestic violence (DV) was mostly associated with physical violence.