See note 1
One of the best kept secrets of the twentieth century was the incidence of domestic violence in supposedly intact families. It is only in the last twenty years that family violence has been recognized as a serious social problem that encompasses the abuse of elderly parents or grandparents as well as spousal and child abuse.
In the words of MacDonald J, of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, in MAB v LAB:
Domestic violence most commonly refers to a situation where an adult intimate or former intimate partner attempts by psychological, physical, financial or sexual means to coerce, dominate or control the other. This violence reveals a pattern of conduct that may be verbal, physical or sexual. The conduct targets another person’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. It can include humiliating, belittling, denigrating, intimidating, controlling or isolating behaviour. It can include physical assaults, sexual assaults, sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, extortion, economic coercion, threats to harm or kill, destruction of property, threatened or attempted suicide, litigation harassment and litigation tactics, manipulation of children, of relatives, of investigation agencies and helping personnel, surveillance, monitoring, and stalking. The abuse and...