Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, often called spousal abuse, is violence or abuse by one person against their spouse in a domestic setting such as a marriage or cohabitation. Around the world it is most commonly perpetuated against women, although in some countries the rates of men being subjected to domestic violence is nearly on par with women.

Forms of Domestic Violence

Historically, domestic abuse was mainly associated with physical violence; however in recent times the definition has widened to include other forms of abuse such as verbal, sexual and economical.

Physical violence has always been viewed as the main type of domestic violence. It usually involves contact which intends to harm another person such as punching and slapping. Another example is acid attacks.

Verbal abuse is usually classified as emotional abuse, which means to manipulate another person, to threaten them or name-calling. Although the victim suffers no physical pain from this, the mental scars that can incur can leave a lasting effect on the victim’s life.

Economics abuse is when one person in the relationship has control over the other person’s economic resources. Acts that typically fall within this form of abuse are preventing a partner from acquiring economic resources, restricting the amount of money their partner can use and restricting their partner from finding a job.


In the developing world, women experience far more domestic abuse than men. This is thought to be due to the fact that there is a lot of inequality between the genders in developing nations, and as such the societal view towards domestic violence differs greatly from developed nations.

Legislation also has a big effect on the occurrence of domestic violence. It is outlawed in most of the developed world, however there are many laws in developing countries that do not prohibit domestic violence. In 2010 the UAE Supreme Court ruled that a man has the right to physically discipline his children and wife as long as no marks are left. Such laws not only fail to prohibit domestic violence, but rather encourage it.

Societal views on domestic violence also lead to women being the majority of victims of it across the world. In Afghanistan 90% of women think it is justified for a man to beat his wife under certain conditions. Such opinion would be completely unacceptable in developed nations, which have a far lower rate of domestic violence as a result.

Domestic Violence is a very serious issue in many parts of the world, especially where there is a lot of inequality between men and women, as this perpetrates a culture of violence towards women.