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Domestic violence can take place in heterosexual and same-sex family relationships, and can involve violence against children in the family.
Domestic violence can take a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as female genital mutilation and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death.
The most prominent example is rape within marriage, which for a long time had not been recognised as rape because of the relationship between victim and perpetrator." There has been increased attention given to specific forms of domestic violence, such as honor killings, dowry deaths, and forced marriages.
It may produce intergenerational cycles of abuse in children and other family members, who may feel that such violence is acceptable or condoned.Victims may experience psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as dysregulated aggression which may later contribute to continuing the legacy of abuse when they reach adulthood.In most legal systems around the world, the issue of DV has been addressed only from the 1990s onwards; indeed, before the late-20th century, in most countries there was very little protection, in law or in practice, against DV.This publication urged countries around the world to treat DV as a criminal act, stated that the right to a private family life does not include the right to abuse family members, and acknowledged that, at the time of its writing, most legal systems considered DV to be largely outside the scope of the law, describing the situation at that time as follows: "Physical discipline of children is allowed and, indeed, encouraged in many legal systems and a large number of countries allow moderate physical chastisement of a wife or, if they do not do so now, have done so within the last 100 years.
Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse, battering, or family violence) is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.