Definition of violence
Domestic violence has no face. It can occur in all social classes, in young couples as well as in the elderly, regardless of their ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
Domestic violence against women is a complex problem. This is not a simple ‘domestic dispute’; it is rather a social problem since this violence is directed against a specific group, namely women, as illustrated by the following definition:
“Domestic violence is characterized by a series of repetitive acts, which generally occur in an upward trend. Experts call this escalation of violence. It proceeds, in the aggressor, according to a cycle defined by successive phases marked by rising tension, aggression, disempowerment, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Violence includes psychological, verbal, physical, and sexual assault as well as acts of economic domination. It does not result from a loss of control, but rather constitutes a means chosen to dominate the other person and to assert their power over them.’
(Politique en matière de violence, prévenir, dépister et contrer la violence, Québec, 1995) [Policy on violence, preventing, detecting and countering violence, Quebec, 1995]