When/How/To Whom does it happen?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. However, statistics show that the vast majority of domestic violence incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.
It can happen in all kinds of relationships, whether heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and can begin at any stage of the relationship. Domestic violence is rarely a one-off event. Incidents normally become more frequent and severe over time.
Abusers choose to behave violently to get what they want and gain control. Their behaviour often originates from a sense of entitlement which is often supported by sexist, racist, homophobic and other discriminatory attitudes.
Domestic violence against women by men is ’caused’ by the misuse of power and control within a context of male privilege. Male privilege operates on an individual and societal level to maintain a situation of male dominance, where men have power over women and children. Perpetrators of domestic violence choose to behave abusively to get what they want and gain control. Their behaviour often originates from a sense of entitlement which is often supported by sexist, racist, homophobic and other discriminatory attitudes. In this way, domestic violence by men against women can be seen as a consequence of the inequalities between men and women, rooted in patriarchal traditions that encourage men to believe they are entitled to power and control over their partners.
“Like many women, I didn’t realise I was in an abusive relationship. The controlling nature of the relationship and the emotional dependency I felt made it very hard to break free after being in the relationship for so many years. Even just being aware of the support that the Woman’s Trust offer gave me courage, hope and confidence. There were many people out there who did believe me and could help me move forward in life. I am very grateful of the time and support the Woman’s Trust has given me.”