Difference Between Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse

Key Difference –  Domestic Violence vs Domestic Abuse
 

 

Domestic violence and domestic abuse are two terms that are used interchangeably although some discern a key difference between the two words. It must be highlighted that defining domestic violence and abuse differs from one state to another. Hence, while some definitions emphasize the difference that exists between the two concepts, others do not. Simple, domestic violence refers to abusive behavior employed by a partner to exert control and power over the other partner. Domestic abuse refers to all forms of abuse which can be of physical, psychological and sexual nature that occurs within the domestic compound. The key difference between the two concepts is that unlike domestic violence that clearly focuses on violent behavior, domestic abuse captures a wider range of behavior that may not be violent yet abusive. Through this article let us gain a clearer understanding of the two words.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence refers to abusive behavior employed by a partner to exert control and power over the other partner. In the world today domestic violence has become a menace to the society as millions of women become victims of acts of violence in every nook and corner of the world. Although many laws prevail in most states to protect women who become the target of domestic violence in most scenarios, these laws often become failures.

This is not something that happens to only a particular group of people. People from all walks of life, whether they are young or old, rich or poor become targets of domestic violence. Statistics highlight that the majority of victims are women although there are few exceptions to this as well. The abuser mainly employs physical violence in the case of domestic violence. This can be a very painful experience as it shatters one’s self-concept and self-confidence making the individual feel extremely vulnerable.

Difference Between Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse refers to all forms of abuse which can be of physical, psychological, economical, and sexual nature that occurs within the domestic compound. When physical abuse is specifically focused, this is known as domestic violence.

Studies highlight that usually domestic abuse begins with verbal abuse and grows gradually as it finally reaches a point of physical abuse. Although most people concentrate only on physical abuse, emotional abuse of the individual can also be detrimental to the individual as the abuser employs various strategies such as humiliation, guilt, fear, threats, intimidation, dominance and denial to manipulate the partner. Psychologists highlight that this leads to depression, anxiety and even the loss of self-worth. Hence, whether it is a case of domestic violence or domestic abuse, it is vital to seek assistance.

Key Difference - Domestic Violence vs Domestic Abuse

What is the difference between Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse?

Definitions of Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse:

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence refers to abusive behavior employed by a partner to exert control and power over the other partner.

Domestic Abuse: Domestic abuse refers to all forms of abuse which can be of physical, psychological and sexual nature that occurs within the domestic compound.

Characteristics of Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse:

Acts:

Domestic Violence: This is limited to violent acts.

Domestic Abuse: This encapsulates all forms of abuse.

Scope:

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is considered as narrower in comparison to domestic abuse.

Domestic Abuse: Domestic abuse has a broader scope.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. USMC-04952 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Abuse cycle of domestic violence By moggs oceanlane (Flickr: Abuse: cycle of violence) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons