Anova defines abuse as “any act used intentionally to harm, injure, control, coerce, threaten, intimidate or create fear for safety in another person”. Domestic violence is abuse, control, and/or violence that occurs in the context of a family or partnership. It can concur between intimate partners, between siblings, between parents and children, and between adult children and elderly parents. Abuse and domestic violence can be physical, sexual, psychological and/or financial, and are used to maintain power and control.
The use of abusive behaviours and/or violence is a choice. Violence and abuse occurs deliberately, as a choice made by the abuser, not due to the abuser’s “loss of control”. Abusers are able to control their behavior and often do in the ways they pick whom they abuse (partner vs. neighbour, for example), when and where they abuse their partner (they wait until they get home from restaurant or party, stop when police arrive, choosing less visible body parts to target) and what they destroy or injure (will break their partner’s sentimental items or hurt their partner’s pet, not their own).