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Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse or family violence, is any form of violence or abuse that occurs within the home, such as in a marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is frequently used interchangeably with intimate partner violence, which occurs when one of the persons in an intimate relationship acts violently against the other. It can occur in heterosexual or same-sex partnerships, as well as between former spouses or partners. Domestic violence, in its fullest form, includes aggression against children, parents, and the elderly. Physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, or sexual abuse are all examples of abuse. It can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and other forms of violent physical abuse that can end in disfigurement or death, such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation, and acid throwing, as well as the use of technology to harass, control, monitor, stalk, or hack. Stoning, bride burning, honor killing, and dowry death are examples of domestic murder that sometimes involve non-cohabiting family members. Domestic abuse victims are primarily women over the world, and women are more likely to be subjected to more severe kinds of violence. Intimate partner violence is also more likely to be used in self-defense by women than by men. Domestic violence may be justifiable or legally permissible in some nations, especially in circumstances of actual or suspected adultery on the part of the woman. According to research, there is a direct and significant link between gender equality and domestic violence rates in a country, with countries with less gender equality experiencing greater rates of domestic violence. For both men and women, domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes in the world. Men who are victims of domestic abuse are also more likely to be disregarded by healthcare providers due to social stigmas associated with male victimhood. When an abuser believes they are entitled to it, or that it is acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported, domestic violence is more likely to occur. It may result in an intergenerational cycle of violence, with children and other family members believing that such violence is appropriate or accepted. Many people do not perceive themselves as abusers or victims because they see their experiences as a result of out-of-control family conflicts. Domestic abuse awareness, perception, description, and documentation varies greatly from country to country. Domestic violence is also prevalent in the setting of forced or child marriages.

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