Our understanding of domestic abuse
The work at PDVI is underpinned by the following understanding of Domestic Abuse.
- Domestic Abuse is unacceptable behavior
- The right to live free from intimidation, abuse and violence is a basic human right.
- Domestic Abuse is very common – one in four women & one in six men will experience it.
- Domestic Abuse has the potential of being very dangerous – each week in the UK two – three women are killed by a partner or ex- partner.
- The abuser is 100% responsible for their abusive behaviour.
- Domestic Abuse is not the fault or responsibility of the victim & children – nobody ever deserves to be abused.
- Domestic Abuse has a devastating impact on children. On top of the physical risk, it constitutes an emotional abuse of children who witness it or are otherwise aware of it within their home.
- Violence towards a partner or family member is intentional and instrumental behaviour – it’s about power and control over a family member, partner or former partner.
- Violence & or abusive behaviour towards a (ex) partner or family member is learned behaviour.
- Perpetrators can change – their behaviour is within their control and they can choose to stop – however, making changes is far from easy and many people do not have sufficient motivation.
- Victims cannot stop a perpetrator’s violence – but there may be things they can do to increase their own security and that of their children.
PDVI defines Domestic Abuse as the systematic use of violence and abuse to gain power and control over a (ex) partner or family member. Domestic Abuse occurs across all cultures, ages, ethnic groups and social classes. As well as covering physical violence – including all forms of aggressive or unwanted physical violence – including all forms of aggressive or unwanted physical contact and sexual violence – domestic abuse includes non-physical abuse such as verbal, financial, social, racist, psychological or emotional abuse, threats, neglect, harassment and the use of economic, structural, institutional or even spiritual abuse.
Although, only physical and sexual violence and some forms of racist abuse and harassment are actually illegal, all these other forms of Domestic Abuse also have harmful and lasting effects on the victim and on any witnesses, especially children – PDVI takes them all seriously.
For more information about Domestic Abuse you can visit the Women’s Aid website.