For this literature review, domestic
violence is defined as:


violence refers to the use of physical or emotional force or threat of physical
force, including sexual violence, in close adult relationships. This includes
violence perpetrated by a spouse, partner, son, daughter or any other person
who has a close or blood relationship with the victim. The term ‘domestic
violence’ goes beyond actual physical violence. It can also involve emotional
abuse; the destruction of property; isolation from friends, family and other
potential sources of support; threats to others including children; stalking;
and control over access to money, personal items, food, transportation and the

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(Task Force Report on Violence Against Women,
1997: p.27)


The Task Force definition of domestic along with the existing Irish
legislation on domestic violence can be said to be gender-neutral. Although
widely acknowledged that the majority of victims of domestic violence are
women, it is important to recognise that victims can also be men. In a review
of international gender-neutral research of domestic violence, McKeon and Kidd
(2002) support this position.Domestic violence is a very significant issue for
those whose life is affected by it. Domestic violence is not a new thing but in
the last few decades there has been more public awareness surrounding domestic
violence and also more government agreement in that something needs to be done
about it (Holt and Devaney 2015). And over time we
are getting a better understanding about what domestic violence is and the
impact that domestic violence has on those affected, this has brought about the
need to define it and what society needs to do in order to tackle it. This has
not come without problems though as there is many different understandings of
domestic violence that differ in research studies and different cultures (European
Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014).


Domestic violence and child abuse

Children that are exposed to domestic violence are at a greater risk of
suffering abuse themselves such as physical abuse or neglect. And to show this
there was a study carried out in the UK by the NSPCC and it was called the
prevalence study and it found that children that are being exposed to Domestic were
between 2.9 and 4.4 times more likely to encounter physical violence and
neglect from a caregiver than those children that are not exposed to domestic
violence(Radford et al., 2011). A similar research that was carried out by Moffitt
and Caspi’s (2003) of New Zealand  found
that a childs probability of abuse was three to nine times higher in homes
where there was domestic violence, than those of children who werent exposed to
domestic violence. When living in a stressful and violent household it has very
negative consequences for both a child’s emotional and mental health in the
short-term and long-term (Evans et al., 2008). The repeated concurrence of
domestic violence and child abuse can be seen in three different ways. First of
all the violent individual very often does not victimize between different relatives.

Second, adult victims may not be able to meet the physical, emotional or
supervisory needs of their children as a result of physical injury and/or poor
mental health. And third, children may be injured whilst trying to intervene or
while being carried by the adult victim at the time of assault. Whilst there is
some evidence that biological fathers have been found to be more likely than
social fathers to express concern about the effects of their domestically
violent behaviour on their children, they are no more likely than the social
fathers to express an intent to stop their violence or to take action to reduce
the impact on their children (Rothman et al., 2007), raising the need for
professionals to identify ways to effectively work with perpetrators without
increasing the risk to victims (Devaney, 2014).



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