What is Domestic Violence

It is normal for disagreements and arguments to occur within relationships and both partners should be able to express their different points of view or concerns and discuss them together safely.

What is not normal is for one partner to feel threatened, too frightened to fight back, or unsafe to disagree or express their opinions.

Domestic violence and/or abuse is when one partner in a relationship uses different ways to gain power and control over another.

Domestic abuse happens when one partner in a relationship intentionally and deliberately hurts the other.

Domestic violence is rarely an isolated incident.

Domestic violence is intended to harm the physical and/or mental well-being of the victim and comes in many forms; physical, sexual, emotional and psychological, financial and spiritual.  Many women say that the emotional and psychological abuse is just as bad, if not worse, than the physical violence and that is it harder to recover from.

Domestic violence is extremely common in Ireland.  One in four women have experienced being abused by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

There is no way to define a ‘typical’ victim of domestic violence – Women are overwhelmingly the victims of most serious domestic violence, but sometimes men are the victims.

Domestic violence happens to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Domestic violence is not one partner losing their temper.  Abusers are often friendly and caring to everyone else but their partner.  Domestic violence is control, not anger.