Domestic Violence Sexual Harassment

Domestic violence refers to all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that occur within a family or at home between former or current spouses or partners. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by one person to control or dominate another with whom they have or have had an intimate or family relationship.

1. What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence refers to all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that occur within a family or at home between former or current spouses or partners. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by one person to control or dominate another with whom they have or have had an intimate or family relationship.

Psychological abuse can take many forms, it can be intrusive attention, stalking or coercive control. Through coercive control, the perpetrator's behavior is directed towards subjugation and/or dependence on the victim/survivor through threats, humiliation, intimidation, or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, intimidate, and isolate victim/survivor from any support.

Financial abusers seek to prevent a person from gaining access to employment opportunities and financial resources.

Domestic violence can result in long-term physical, mental and emotional health problems; in the most extreme cases, violence against women can lead to death. This is one of the most extreme forms of harassment a woman can face.

Sources: Istanbul Convention; Unione Unite “Domestic Violence and Abuse. Negotiation Guide; ILO report, 2018.

2. What is the difference between domestic violence, family violence and intimate partner violence?
Intimate partner violence is commonly understood as the infliction of “physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse”. Domestic violence is “partner violence, but […] can also include child or elder abuse, or violence by any family member.” Domestic violence means “child abuse, sibling abuse, intimate partner abuse, and elder abuse.”

Source: ILO Brief Report on Domestic Violence and its Impact on the World of Work, 2020

3. Victim or survivor of domestic violence?
The terms “victim” and “survivor of domestic violence” are used depending on the situation. The word “victim” is used by law enforcement officials and during legal proceedings. However, people may prefer the term “domestic violence survivor”, which emphasizes an active, proactive and constructive response to violence, as opposed to the term “victim”, which may mean passive acceptance.

Ultimately, it is critical to follow the signals of the person seeking support, as each person has a different path from being a victim to being a “survivor of domestic violence”. As a result, many are beginning to use the term victim/survivor of domestic violence.

Source: A Handbook for Survivors of Violence, Aid Women, Words We Use. Women Against Abuse

4. Who is the most likely victim/survivor of domestic violence?
What do we call people who seek help while in an abusive relationship or after a breakup?

Anyone can be a victim/survivor or perpetrator of domestic violence. People experience domestic violence regardless of their gender, ethnicity, class, age, race, religion, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

However, there is clear evidence that among those who suffer from domestic violence, understood as intimate partner violence, the majority are women, and among the perpetrators of violence, the majority are men.

35 percent of women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by another person during their lifetime. Most cases of violence against women are committed by intimate partners. Every day, 137 women die at the hands of a partner or family member.

Domestic violence is a manifestation of gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence and violence against women are two terms that are often used interchangeably, since in most cases violence against women is committed (by men) on a gender basis, and the percentage of women who experience gender-based violence is disproportionately higher. Gender-based violence against women is violence directed against a woman specifically.


Why is it considered
what about domestic violence
mostly women are affected?
The types of violence that can be identified (ie physical and sexual) mostly affect women. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for 2013, women make up 91.6% of victims of violent crimes in relation to their spouse. “Among the victims of violence by spouses or partners, the number of women outnumbers men by about 9 times. Women receive 8 times more grievous bodily and other injuries from their partners than men. Male violence most often has a practical purpose or expressive (expression of emotions). Women are more likely to resort to physical violence when they feel cornered and desperate to prevent further abuse. It is extremely rare for violence by women to be systematic, purposeful, and constant,” explains Natalia Khodyreva.

On the other hand, women are more likely to use methods of emotional and economic violence. For example, a wife may seek to control all spending in the family and systematically humiliate her husband because of low earnings. However, a woman can also be a physical aggressor, for example, in relation to children. There may be a hierarchy of power in the family, where the man is the strongest, abuses power and uses violence, and women in turn apply it to children.


Is there a connection between
domestic violence and financial
and the social level of the family?
There is an opinion that only dysfunctional families are subject to domestic violence, and there is no such problem in wealthy and educated couples. This is not true. According to a study conducted by the Council of Women of Moscow State University, 61.6% of disadvantaged families and 38.4% of well-off families experience domestic violence. At the same time, in families with low incomes and a low level of education, problems are more often associated with alcoholism and the use of physical violence. In families with a high level of education, but low incomes, economic and psychological violence is more developed (sophisticated psychological manipulations, and so on). Domestic violence in high-income families is most often physical and sexual in nature.

The point is also that in dysfunctional families the problem of violence is more noticeable, since these families can be visited by social workers or guardianship, for example, because of the behavior of the child. Murders of a partner on domestic grounds also occur more often in marginalized families, for which the drinking-quarrel-knife pattern is eerily typical. Such stories also penetrate the press, become material for reports, with photographs, names, private stories. It is impossible to get into the “status” layers in this way: until it comes to brutal reprisal or murder, no one suspects anything.

What are the reasons
domestic violence?
The main and most dangerous misconception that exists in society regarding the problem of domestic violence is that the cause lies in the actions of the injured partner, and the abuser was “provoked”. This automatically raises the erroneous question “why?” and the tendency to seek justification for the aggressor. It must be remembered that there is no and cannot be a behavioral reason for systematic violence - only the inclination of the rapist to aggression and the manifestation of his power over a partner is to blame for this.

This propensity is directly dependent on the upbringing and family relationship pattern that a person “inherited” by observing the relationship of his parents, as well as on the attitudes that prevail in society as a whole, and in particular in the environment of the couple. For example, the likelihood of domestic violence increases if the woman and her acquaintances choose not to discuss the topic of violence or seek help, and the husband and his friends do not condemn the use of force. The problem is rooted both in the taboo of the topic of domestic violence and in the patriarchal nature of Russian culture, enshrined even at the level of “folk wisdom” and traditional values: “A man is the head of everything”, “Let a wife be afraid of her husband.” The family economy is also built in such a way that with the birth of children, a woman often falls into a state of dependence on who brings money to the house.

“The idea that a woman “runs up” is, alas, common among many of my fellow psychologists,” notes Natalia Khodyreva. According to her, Russian society is characterized by a militaristic consciousness - it is believed that for any disobedience it is necessary to use physical punishment or shout. Therefore, abusers are not inclined to see problems in their behavior.

How is domestic violence different?
from any other and why this problem needs a special approach?
First, in cases of domestic violence, the injured partner is in constant contact with the abuser and is often economically dependent on him. You don't have to see the person who hit you on the street every day and sleep in the same room. In a situation of domestic violence, victims often do not have the opportunity to find housing, and constantly communicating with the perpetrator means being subjected to violence again. Women in unhealthy relationships are pressured and generally