Domestic/Family violence is a type of violence which occurs within the home unit and can be inflicted upon either one or all members of a family. This type of violence can take place within households of any ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation or cultural background.
Domestic violence is a serious offense and is not something which is dealt with lightly. For instance, in Ontario there is the Domestic Violence Protection Act. This act states that it is “an Act to better protect victims of domestic violence”¹. Furthermore, within this act, domestic violence is defined and is categorized in six ways.
Domestic violence can take various forms. Physical abuse, such as through hitting, kicking or slapping, is one such classification of aggression which is common in situations of domestic violence. Emotional abuse, sexual assaults and aggressive verbal abuse are also forms of domestic violence. Even kidnapping or stalking can be considered domestic/family violence, if it is taking place between related individuals or persons which are dating, united by marriage or in an intimate relationship.
In the past, domestic/family violence was not as serious of a concern. However, nowadays violence between partners or within families is considered a criminal offence in some places, such as within Western countries. In other parts of the world, violent acts such as honour killings take place and no charges accompany the action.
Evidently, the social views of violence vary somewhat in different countries. Since the 1990’s and onwards, stricter policies have been implemented to deal with these issues of violence. Although domestic/family violence is still an ongoing issue, stricter policy regimes will assist in keeping individuals safe within their homes and relationships.