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Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence.In some countries, domestic violence is often seen as justified, particularly in cases of actual or suspected infidelity on the part of the woman, and is legally permitted.Research has established that there exists a direct and significant correlation between a country's level of gender equality and rates of domestic violence.Domestic violence occurs when the abuser believes that abuse is an entitlement, acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported.India has, in recent decades, made efforts to curtail dowry violence: the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) was enacted in 2005, following years of advocacy and activism by the women's organizations.Crimes of passion in Latin America, a region which has a history of treating such killings with extreme leniency, have also come to international attention.[...] Indeed, in the case of violence against wives, there is a widespread belief that women provoke, can tolerate or even enjoy a certain level of violence from their spouses." The convention seeks to put an end to the toleration, in law or in practice, of violence against women and DV.In its explanatory report it acknowledges the long tradition of European countries of ignoring, de jure or de facto, these forms of violence.

In most legal systems around the world, domestic violence 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.It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation, and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death.Domestic murders include stoning, bride burning, honor killings, and dowry deaths.It is now recognized as one of the most lethal forms of DV; yet, because of the lack of external injuries, and the lack of social awareness and medical training in regard to it, strangulation has often been a hidden problem.Homicide as a result of domestic violence makes up a greater proportion of female homicides than it does male homicides.

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