Domestic Abuse – What Is Abuse?

Many people think that domestic abuse is strictly between a husband and wife or two people who are co-habiting with one another.  This is not the case when it comes to domestic abuse.  By most laws, anyone who is in a relationship, regardless of whether they are living together or not, can be a perpetrator or victim of this crime.

Another assumption people make about domestic abuse is that it is between adults only.  The stereotype of the typical wife beater is an example.  A man who comes home and hits his wife is usually termed a wife beater.  When people think about domestic abuse, they often envision this type of scenario.  Very often, domestic abuse encompasses the entire family.  This often includes child abuse where one or both of the parents also take out their rage on the children who become victims of this crime.  There are cases where both partners abuse the children or where one of the partners inflicts child abuse.

Domestic abuse does not always take the form of physical abuse.  It is important for people to realize that abuse takes many forms and is not always domestic violence.  Emotional abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse are also part of this type of behavior.  This type of abuse is also often inflicted on children in a relationship in which one or both of the partners are abusive.

All forms of domestic abuse is considered to be a crime.  Emotional abuse can be just as damaging to the victim as physical abuse, but often goes unreported.  This is particularly true in the case where this type of domestic abuse is perpetrated against children.  Sexual abuse is often stigmatized by abuse against children, although this form of abuse is often perpetrated by one adult against another in a relationship.

According to statistics, most of those who are arrested for domestic abuse are men.  The most common form of domestic abuse is domestic violence by a boyfriend or husband against a woman.  Second comes child abuse, again most often perpetrated by men against children in a relationship, most often not their own biological children.  Sexual abuse is third and again is a crime in which the perpetrators are overwhelmingly male.  These statistics are based upon reports.  However, it is also true that most cases of domestic abuse or violence against a man from a female partner go unreported as men are less likely to report these instances to the police.

There is help for those who are perpetrators of domestic abuse.  The help comes from a prevention program that deals with abusive behavior.  Most people who are abusive have grown up with this type of behavior in which they, themselves, where victims of domestic abuse as children and simply are continuing a cycle that will be passed on to their own children.  With a proper battering intervention program, however, this violent and abusive cycle can be broken.

For Anger Management Classes and Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, TX call 281-477-9105 and/or send an email to

Gregory Kyles, LPC
Anger Management & Domestic Violence Institute

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