WHY WE USE GENDERED LANGUAGE

When We Talk About Domestic Violence

The term “domestic violence” encompasses all forms of violence and abuse by a current or former intimate partner for the purpose of establishing and maintaining power and control.

  • physical
  • sexual
  • emotional
  • financial

Domestic violence can affect anyone, including people in later life, people with disabilities, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.

We often refer to victims as women to reflect national studies and PCADV service statistics that show the greatest number of victims are females, abused by men.

In no way is our language meant to ignore or minimize the fact that men also experience domestic violence at the hands of their female or same-sex partners. PCADV and our domestic violence programs offer services to male and female victims of domestic violence.

We often refer to domestic violence program advocates as women, again to reflect the majority of staff and volunteers at PCADV programs. It does not negate or dismiss the dedicated men who work at or volunteer with these programs.

These terms are used interchangeably to describe:

Domestic violence:

  • Violence or domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • Abuse or domestic abuse

The person who is being abused:

  • Victim
  • Survivor
  • Plaintiff

The person who commits acts of domestic violence:

  • Batterer
  • Abuser
  • Offender
  • Defendant
  • Perpetrator
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