There’s many terms used to describe domestic violence. It's important to keep in mind that there's a difference between domestic violence and disagreements, discord, or disputes in a relationship. Most people do not resort to violence against their partners, regardless of the intensity of the conflict. Disagreements are a normal part of healthy relationships based on respect and equality. Violence and abuse including threats of harm in a relationship is something else entirely, impacting every aspect of a victim’s life, and creating a significant imbalance of power in the relationship.
Domestic violence is learned behavior (through observation, experience, reinforcement, culture, family, and community) and is not caused by substance abuse, genetics, stress, anger, illness, or problems in the relationship. We find, however, that these factors are often used as excuses and can exacerbate the violent behavior of a perpetrator. Cultural acceptance of domestic violence is reinforced when abusers are not arrested, prosecuted or otherwise held responsible for their acts. Without intervention, the violence can become more destructive and sometimes lethal over time.