For Parents

Domestic violence

Domestic violence is a widespread and pervasive public health problem with serious consequences. Besides the fact that domestic violence is a violation of law, its consequences involve serious damages to the physical, mental and social well-being of individuals and families. Also known as domestic violence or domestic abuse, it includes a range of abuses, including economic, physical, sexual, emotional and psychological or other forms of abuse against children, adults and elderly.

Unfortunately, every form of family violence generates also other types of interrelated violence. The “cycle of abuse” is often continued by the children exposed to such scenarios in childhood, who in future relationships after adolescence or in caring for the elderly, will display such violent behaviour.

Domestic violence is difficult to identify, and many cases go unreported to legal or medical authorities. However, it affects not only the victim but families, co-workers and the community by diminishing psychological and physical health, quality of life and productivity.

Types of violence include harassment, economic, emotional, psychological, sexual, physical violence and neglect. Domestic violence can occur across all rases, ages, ethnicities or genders. Regarding its limits, studies show that there is no known cultural, socio-economic, educational, religious or geographic limitations.

This form of violence is abusive behaviour in which one individual gains power over another individual.

  • Partner violence often includes sexual or physical violence, psychological aggression and stalking. It can be perpetrated by current or exes partners.
  • Child abuse can be sexual, emotional, physical or neglect of a child under 18 by parent, legal guardian or anyone has care of the child.
  • Elder abuse is a lack of action or an intentional act on the part of caregiver that causes or creates a risk of harm to an elderly person.

Risk factors

Risk factors for domestic violence include individual, relational, community and societal aspects. There is a inverse relationship between education and domestic violence. Lower levels of education are correlated with a higher likelihood of domestic violence. Childhood abuse as well as indirect participation in abusive and violent behaviour in the family environment, is commonly associated with the fact that in adulthood, that minor will became an abuser themselves, as they repeat the behaviours of their parents. Drug and alcohol use also increase the incidence of domestic violence and violence in general.

Children who are victims or witnesses of domestic violence may believe that violence is a reasonable way to resolve a conflict. Men who see in their families that the women are not respected equally (such as when there is a brother and sister in a family) are more likely to abuse women in adulthood. At the same time, women who witness of domestic violence in their childhood are more likely to be victimized of their future husbands. However, although women are often victims of domestic violence, the roles can be reversed.

In term of reporting the phenomenon, given the complex and diverse nature of domestic violence, it takes time and the child needs to gradually develop an accurate understanding of what is happening and to try to make sense of it. Different studies show that some children described domestic violence as “fights” or “arguing”, while others found it difficult to talk about violence. In addition, partners who are victims of domestic violence are also not very aware of when or if it occurs, especially if it manifests itself in forms that are harder to identify.

Domestic violence is a common phenomenon in all types of families, regardless of their characteristics, and it has traumatic consequences for all family members, even if they were not direct victims, but only witnesses. It should be remembered that any type of violence should be avoided and reported in order to reduce the number of subsequent victims.


Article by Ramona Cîrcu, Activities Coordinator.



Martin R. Huecker; Kevin C. King; Gary A. Jordan; William Smock, April 9, 2023: „Domestic violence”. Link:,and%20in%20some%20cases%2C%20mortality


Debbie Noble‐Carr, Tim Moore, Morag McArthur, 2019, „Children’s experiences and needs in relation to domestic and family violence: Findings from a meta‐synthesis”. Link: