The term domestic violence is often used interchangeably with domestic abuse, family violence, intimate partner abuse, and intimate partner violence.
Domestic violence is when someone uses abusive behavior to gain power and control over a member of their family, or someone with whom they have an intimate relationship. Through coercive control, abusers use violent tactics to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
Domestic violence includes many different forms of abuse and neglect carried out by family members or intimate partners. It may include a single act of violence, or a number of acts that form a pattern of abuse. Domestic violence can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for victims and for those who witness the violence. Domestic violence is always the responsibility of the abuser, not the victim. Although external factors may contribute to the abuse (e.g., anger issues, stress, family history of violence, substance use), they do not cause abuse. There are no excuses for violent behaviour.