Violence against women and girls is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality encompassing an extremely wide range of gender-based harms. These harms can include domestic and intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, ‘honour’ crimes, femicide, forced prostitution, trafficking and exploitation. The term violence against women and girls also refers to stalking, drink spiking, image-based and online abuse, harmful practices, reproductive rights abuses such as forced abortion, and workplace harassment.
Domestic violence can be described as behaviour or patterns of behaviour exhibited to control, coerce, threaten, intimidate or degrade a victim. Domestic violence is usually perpetrated by an intimate partner or ex intimate partner, but also in some cases by a relative or carer. Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of VAWG. In England and Wales between March 2020 and March 2021, domestic abuse cases rose by 6%, with a total of 613,929 reported incidents, according to the ONS.
Domestic abuse can take many forms, including physical and sexual violence, emotional and psychological violence, economic violence, digital violence and reproductive violence.