Domestic violence means that in a relationship or marriage, one of the partners uses physical, sexual or psychological violence to try to get power or control over the other. Victims of domestic violence are mostly women and children; domestic violence can occur in heterosexual and same-sex relationships. There is often a predictable pattern or cycle of violence in a relationship and the abuse tends to get worse over time. Domestic violense can be also a factor to be homelessness, as pointed out by Principles 15 of the Yogyakarta Principles.
In any culture or community, there are beliefs and attitudes that support domestic violence and beliefs and attitudes that do not support domestic violence. Very often, laws exist to protect the victim of such violent acts. There are also organisations that can help in such situations.
Domestic violence sometimes does not get reported to the police. Estimates say that only a third of domestic violence cases (or even less) get reported to the authorities[source?].