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Types of Domestic Violence

One should clearly and precisely identify the phenomena they see in order to provide efficient support for the victims and prevent domestic violence. It is not enough to simply talk about “domestic violence”. It is necessary to asses the type of it.

The experts[1] distinguish between three main types of domestic violence:

  • Systemic violence
  • Resistance violence
  • Episodic violence

Systemic violence is a recurrent behaviour when the relations with an intimate partner are shaped and continued using domination by intimidating, using violence and other control tactics.  This is a   planned use of various tactics with the aim to limit the autonomy of the other. Systemic violence is a more complex crime than an ordinary attack.

Resistance violence is expressed as a reaction to long-term violence. It is acceptable and unacceptable use of force as a response to the actions of the perpetrator.

The victim of violence may use different strategies to end systemic violence:

  • negotiate with the perpetrator;
  • ask family members and friends for help;
  • calm the perpetrator down;
  • express anger and hostility;
  • try to distance oneself;
  • go away;
  • use violence.

Some victims of violence try to avoid the aggressor, others – fight and the result might be that long-term victims of violence women kill their perpetrators.

Resistance to systemic violence scheme[2] (ex.)

Episodic violence manifests itself in intimate environment very rarely. This describes coercive behaviour against an intimate partner which is neither a systemic attempt to control another person nor the aim to escape from the suppressive control. This category encompasses different forms of domestic violence related to the situational aggression that is provoked by mental health disorders and dependence on psychotropic substances.