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Domestic violence -- also called dating violence, intimate partner abuse, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, and domestic abuse -- takes many forms.Maltreatment that takes place in the context of any romantic relationship is abuse as described by the above specific terms.

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Research into deaths that result from intimate partner abuse in the United States and Austria indicate that more than 50% of women murdered are the result of domestic violence and 4%-9% of men are killed as victims of domestic violence.

Teen intimate partner abuse takes place at an alarming rate.

It therefore affects men, women, or teen girls and boys, whether in a married or unmarried heterosexual or homosexual relationship.

Intimate partner violence may consist of one or more forms, including emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, or economic abuse and is defined as one person in an intimate relationship using any means to put down or otherwise control the other.

It is usually committed by perpetrators of other forms of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a major public-health problem in that it affects millions of people and often results in physical and emotional injuries and even deaths. GLBT people often face unique challenges when trying to cope with domestic-abuse victimization. The assumption by family, friends, coworkers, and professionals that abuse is mutual in homosexual couples or is an expected part of what is perceived as a dysfunctional relationship since it is not heterosexual, poses major obstacles to battered GLBT individuals in getting help. Spiritual abusers either force the victim to participate in the batterer's religious practices instead of their own or to raise mutual children in a religion that the victim is not in favor of. Stalking refers to repeatedly harassing and threatening behavior, including showing up at the victim's home or workplace, placing harassing phone calls, voicemail, email or postal mail messages, leaving unwanted items, or vandalizing the victim's property. Media reporting of celebrities' domestic abuse victimization demonstrates that even the most accomplished individuals can be involved in this problem. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Violence Against Women Office.

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