Domestic Violence: Meaning and Types

Nearly 86% of women who experienced assault never sought assistance, and 77% of victims kept the attack a secret from anyone. Domestic violence is not a recent problem; it has existed for a very long time. In India, there has recently been an alarming increase in domestic violence cases, which has become a significant source of worry during the shutdown period. Nevertheless, this evil has proliferated and is still growing.

Women are more vulnerable in these circumstances and are typically the targets, although men are also affected. The majority of nations have legislation in place to address these circumstances; India, for instance, has a comprehensive law called the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

What does Exactly Domestic Violence Define?

A pattern of behavior intended to acquire or retain power and control over an intimate partner in any relationship is known as domestic violence.

  • It also covers violent acts perpetrated by a family member or household member against another person, including abusing a child or mistreating a spouse.

  • This includes physical aggressiveness or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraint, slapping, or hurling things), as well as threats of such behavior; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering behavior; intimidation; and stalking.

Domestic violence is the term for when one member of a household or family physically harms another member of the same household or family.

Example - Any couple, whether they are married or not, straight or homosexual, cohabiting or just dating, can be subject to domestic abuse in general.

Reasons of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence does not occur on an automatic basis or in a single instance. It is a continuous process that affects practically everyone who is experiencing violence, whether it be a youngster, an elderly person, or a husband.

The abusive spouse or person engages in this behavior for the purposes of establishing power or fear over others-

  • Due to problems with rage, it occurs,

  • To take advantage of a helpless individual,

  • The tendency to rule others,

  • The individual finds it exciting,

  • To establish their superiority,

  • Some people enjoy it.

  • The majority of the time, economic condition is what lead to violence.

  • Extramarital relationship,

  • Alcoholism,

  • Domestic violence has several causes, one of which is a violent upbringing.

Thus, there is no logical justification for it. It's all about domination and control over the other person. Domestic violence has numerous negative effects on the victim, including a decline in confidence, problems with their sense of self-respect, and even the breaking of their minds.

Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse of women can take many different forms, including physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse as well as economic abuse.

  • Physical Violence − The most obvious type of domestic violence against women is physical assault. The Domestic Violence Act defines domestic violence as any act that results in physical harm to the victim or puts their life, limb, health, or development in jeopardy. Physical abuse includes assault, unlawful force, and criminal intimidation.

  • Sexual Violence − The nature of sexual and reproductive coercion includes sexual abuse of women. In general, marital rape should be considered a form of sexual abuse. However, unless the wife is under 15 years old, marital rape is not against the law. Sexual abuse is defined by the Domestic Violence Act as any sexual abuse that "abuses, humiliates, degrades, or otherwise violates the dignity of a woman."

  • Verbal and Emotional Violence − Verbal abuse comprises comments and threats used by family members during domestic abuse of women. From a human rights standpoint, verbal abuse is a very frequent kind of domestic violence that eventually progresses to emotional abuse. A woman's sense of self-worth is damaged when verbal and emotional abuse are combined, as this causes psychological abuse.

  • Economic Violence − It was a noteworthy move on the part of the government to include economic abuse among the types of abuse covered under the Domestic Violence Act. Economic abuse is typically defined as a technique used to deny the victim and her children access to financial resources or assets.

Consequences of Domestic Violence

Both short-term and long-term physical and mental trauma can result from domestic violence against women. The family's children are also impacted by the domestic violence against women, leaving lasting imprints on a child's impressionable mind.

  • Short-term consequences − Violence's immediate bodily impacts might range from simple illnesses to life-threatening disorders. They may include bruises, cuts, shattered bones, or wounds to internal organs and other body components. Without scans, x-rays, or other tests carried out by a doctor or nurse, it can be difficult or impossible to see some physical ailments. Long-term emotional and verbal abuse may have an impact on women's and children's moods in their daily activities and may also decrease productivity.

  • Long-term consequences − Long-term health issues are associated with various forms of violence against women, including sexual and physical abuse. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety are a few long-term mental health repercussions of violence against women. Substance abuse and drug addiction may result as a result of this. Sexual abuse can leave victims with permanent harm as well as a loss of self-worth.


Women who experience financial, emotional, and physical abuse at home have a tool at their disposal in the form of domestic violence legislation. Such legislation is advantageous in allowing women to live in dignity in developing countries like India, where they are still denied a number of basic human rights under the cover of tradition, religion, and customs.

The Act includes a number of remedies to safeguard and provide relief for such women, including monetary relief orders, residency orders, compensation orders, custody to coerce orders, and provisions for victim counseling. As a result of the disintegration of social and protective networks, numerous studies have revealed that domestic abuse cases increased significantly during the lockdown period, making the situation more vulnerable.


Q1. Does verbal abuse amount to Domestic Violence?

Ans. Before developing into a full-blown pattern of violence, domestic violence typically starts as verbal abuse. Domestic violence as defined in Section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act includes verbal abuse. As a result, verbal abuse against women is now a recognized form of domestic violence. The effects of verbal abuse on one's spirit and feeling of self-worth cause self-doubt. Psychological trauma and sadness follow any attack on one's sense of value.

Q2. What are behaviors considered violence against men?

Ans. Because it manifests in different ways, violence against men is not regarded as severe. More mental, verbal, and emotional abuse against men than physical abuse happens in the majority of cases. Violence against men has less of an effect and is less likely to be seen by others.

Updated on: 15-Feb-2023


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