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Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The definition of violence varies. Violence, defined in the context of intimate pattern relationships, is an act carried out with the intention or perceived intention of causing physical pain or injury to another person (Douglas, 2010). The general definition of violence includes physical violence, sexual violence, and physical and sexual violence (Barnett, Miller-Perrin, and Perrin, 2005).

Domestic violence is one of the increasing public health concerns that affect all people. However, the most vulnerable population of this health concern is women and children. The prevalence range of domestic violence in the world has been estimated by the World Health Organization as follows:

  1. complete intimate partner violence range of

    1. 20% in the Western Pacific,

    2. 22% in high-income countries, such as Europe and the United States of America, 25% and 33% consequently

    3. African region, 31%

    4. Western Mediterranean area 33%

    5. South-East Asia region 33%

However, these data reports are only those data available for the World Health Organization. The source of collected data depended on reported documents from governing offices and healthcare organizations. Unfortunately, only about 44% of all domestic violence incidents could reported to law enforcement, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. Most victims cannot report crime due to fear of retaliation from the criminals; the incidence will cause additional risk. Criminals could be family members, governing officials, or influential individuals who will have power over the victim to make the problem even more complicated. Simultaneously, economic difficulty in initiating the crime investigation and its character of systemic application of the violence the women and children will always be the target of the crime. The main reason this article focused on domestic violence against women and children is that their vulnerability prevalence ranges higher than others.

Safe reporting of violence, retrieved from the World Health Organization

What are the main characteristics of domestic violence?

Domestic violence could be systematic, which means it will hide the violence from the public view and be hard to investigate; when domestic violence is associated with a family member or caregiver, the issue will create fear, normalization of abuse, and shame. Also, Intimidation, low self-esteem, lack of resources, disability, immigration status, cultural context, children, and love for the partner are some of the issues that make an investigation and reporting brutal (National Domestic Violence Hotline, 2020). These elements will be crucial factors that help the criminal hide from justice. Most of the time, the fear of financial dependency is the victim of the violence due to their childcare and economic dependence on the child's father. The fear of filing a charge against the criminal covered as the investigation could lead the violent to a jail sentence or imprisonment. The spouse of the child-mother develops a fear of separation and economic difficulty to take care of her family. Therefore, giving up the report against violence will hide the crime.

The character of a criminal. Based on the circumstance of an issue, the criminal will not stop violating others' rights. When we look up domestic violence related to family group intimidation, the dominant group will be continuous with its character as the subordinate weakens himself to normalize the issue—developed this character due to fear and dependency. In some cultures, women are inferior to men, who will limit their rights based on the cultural description. For example, childcare is solely the responsibility of women as a universal norm during the child's growth period. The men will take the dominant character without support. Due to the financial obligation falling on the man's side, he will take that as a guarantee for his spouse's inferiority, which the spouse also takes the option as the last chance to survive. On the other hand, the man could be married to other women anytime, even in a relationship in which the option is limited for women. The separation after marriage and childcare is more challenging for women than men; these norms make women fail to report abusive relationships.

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