shelters exist in many states as well as special hotlines for people to call for immediate assistance, with non-profit agencies trying to fight the stigma that people both face in reporting these issues.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, domestic violence is: "the inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another; also: a repeated or habitual pattern of such behavior." The term 'domestic violence' includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
When evaluating situational couple violence, poor people, subject to greater strains, have the highest percentage of situational couple violence, which does not necessarily involve serious violence.
Regarding ethnicity, socio-economic standing and other factors often have more to do with rates of domestic violence.
The US Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines domestic violence as a "pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner".
The definition adds that domestic violence "can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender", and can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse.
Although domestic violence often occurs between one partner or partners against another partner or partners in the context of an intimate relationship, it may also describe other household violence, such as violence by child directed toward a parent or violence between siblings who are members of the same household.Abusers use many tactics to exert power over their spouse or partner: dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, denial and blame. have found that domestic violence is significantly more common in the families of police officers than in other families, which is very problematic, since police officers must play a key role in responding to incidents of DV.In 2009, for homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 93% of female victims were murdered by a male they knew, 63% of them in the context of an intimate relationship. In the United States, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 1995 women reported a six times greater rate of intimate partner violence than men, suggesting either higher levels of violence by men, higher levels of reporting by women, or disproportionate response by law enforcement.22% of high school girls and 32% of college women experienced dating violence in a 2000 study.20.6% of women experienced two or more types of dating violence and 8.3% of women experienced rape, stalking or physical aggression while dating.It is recognized as an important social problem by governmental and non-governmental agencies, and various Violence Against Women Acts have been passed by the US Congress in an attempt to stem this tide.Victimization from domestic violence transcends the boundaries of gender and sexual orientation, with significant percentages of LGBT couples facing these issues.According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States 4.8 million women suffer intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes and 2.9 million men are victims of physical assault from their partners. Fiebert, shows that women are as likely to be violent to men, but that men are less likely to be hurt.However, he noted, men are seriously injured in 38 percent of the cases in which "extreme aggression" is used.The results were the same even when the most severe episodes of violence were analyzed.In order to counteract claims that the reporting data was skewed, female-only surveys were conducted, asking females to self-report, and the data was the same.