Domestic violence is a variety of abuse that occurs within the home, between family members or couples. The typical image of domestic violence involves an adult male perpetrator and a female victim, often his wife or girlfriend. However, there are also women perpetrators of domestic violence, and men are sometimes victims. Really, any violence done by any family or group member towards another could qualify.
Domestic violence may take many forms. Destruction of property, psychological and emotional abuse, and physical and sexual assault are all common forms. On the milder but still quite serious side, perpetrators of domestic violence may threaten victims or use verbal put downs and bad name, attempt to publically humiliate them, or play manipulative mind games. Abusers may be act very jealously, and work to control victims' access to family and friends or employment. The abuse may be extreme enough so that the victim loses a job because of absenteeism or decreased productivity while at work, or is prevented from working at all. In its most violent form, domestic violence will involve actual physical and sexual violence, kidnapping of children, torture or murder of pets, etc. Some victims are driven to suicide.
Rape is a crime involving forced sexual activity, usually including sexual penetration, against the will of the victim. Rape can occur in the context of ongoing domestic violence (where a...
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