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Domestic violence can take a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as female genital mutilation and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death.

Domestic murders include stoning, bride burning, honor killings, and dowry deaths.

In most legal systems around the world, the issue of DV has been addressed only from the 1990s onwards; indeed, before the late-20th century, in most countries there was very little protection, in law or in practice, against DV.

This publication urged countries around the world to treat DV as a criminal act, stated that the right to a private family life does not include the right to abuse family members, and acknowledged that, at the time of its writing, most legal systems considered DV to be largely outside the scope of the law, describing the situation at that time as follows: "Physical discipline of children is allowed and, indeed, encouraged in many legal systems and a large number of countries allow moderate physical chastisement of a wife or, if they do not do so now, have done so within the last 100 years.

Historically, children had few protections from violence by their parents, and in many parts of the world, this is still the case.

Last modified 09-Jan-2016 04:37