What is domestic abuse?
MIFUMI’s Definition of Violence against Women MIFUMI has adopted the following view of violence and abuse: Domestic violence is threatening behaviour, violence and abuse (including physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse, that occurs within an intimate or family relationship, regardless of gender and sexuality. It includes threatening behaviour that forms a systematic pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour, including forced marriage and other types of abuse arising out of harmful cultural practices such as bride price and polygamy.
Signs of Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Financial or economic abuse
- Harassment and stalking
- Online or digital abuse
Domestic Abuse and Gender
The CEDAW Committee adopted General Recommendation No 19 on violence against women in 1992. According to this document, The definition of discrimination includes gender-based violence, that is, violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty.
Violence against women is a manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of women’s full advancement.
(The Beijing Platform for Action. The UN Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995)