Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation.
Political agitation and the first-wave feminist movement during the 19th century led to changes in both popular opinion and legislation regarding domestic violence within the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries.
The most prominent example is rape within marriage, which for a long time had not been recognised as rape because of the relationship between victim and perpetrator." There has been increased attention given to specific forms of domestic violence, such as honor killings, dowry deaths, and forced marriages.
India has, in recent decades, made efforts to curtail dowry violence: the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) was enacted in 2005, following years of advocacy and activism by the women's organizations.
In most legal systems around the world, domestic violence has been addressed only from the 1990s onwards; indeed, before the late-20th century, in most countries there was very little protection, in law or in practice, against DV.
This publication urged countries around the world to treat DV as a criminal act, stated that the right to a private family life does not include the right to abuse family members, and acknowledged that, at the time of its writing, most legal systems considered DV to be largely outside the scope of the law, describing the situation at that time as follows: "Physical discipline of children is allowed and, indeed, encouraged in many legal systems and a large number of countries allow moderate physical chastisement of a wife or, if they do not do so now, have done so within the last 100 years.
Research has established that there exists a direct and significant correlation between a country's level of gender equality and rates of domestic violence.Domestic violence can also involve violence against children, parents, or the elderly.It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation, and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death.Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, cultural acceptance, lack of financial resources, fear, shame, or to protect children.As a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, dysregulated aggression, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances, and poor ability to create healthy relationships.Again, most legal systems fail to criminalize circumstances where a wife is forced to have sexual relations with her husband against her will.[...] Indeed, in the case of violence against wives, there is a widespread belief that women provoke, can tolerate or even enjoy a certain level of violence from their spouses." The convention seeks to put an end to the toleration, in law or in practice, of violence against women and DV.Physical violence can be the culmination of other abusive behavior, such as threats, intimidation, and restriction of victim self-determination through isolation, manipulation and other limitations of personal freedom.It is now recognized as one of the most lethal forms of DV; yet, because of the lack of external injuries, and the lack of social awareness and medical training in regard to it, strangulation has often been a hidden problem.Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, beating up, etc.), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.The dynamics of physical abuse in a relationship are often complex.