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Even though studies dealing with the issue tend to focus on the presence of physical violence, it should not be forgotten that in the same relationships several types of emotional and sometimes sexual violence may co-exist. Violent men intentionally aim to create a threatening climate against women. To do so, they resort to devaluations, insults, threats, maltreatment, shouting, contempt, intolerance, humiliations, jealousy and accusations.
Nevertheless, women are often unaware of many of them given the social tolerance towards overall abuse and the lack of institutional alternatives.
There are, however, some difficulties to operationalize these behaviours. It is particularly difficult to measure the characteristic pattern followed by these relationships as this may involve very subtle forms of violence. Likewise, results obtained in the physical and psychological dimensions are usually kept as separate areas or they are presented at best in a mixed form to show the prevalences from the different surveys carried out.
This article is a theoretical and statistical exercise aimed at constructing a typology of male violence against women. Its starting point is a proposal posing that in heterosexual relationships two types of violence are present.
The first one may be called episodic violence, where one or both members of the couple carry out some violent act without the desire to control or dominate the other partner. In the other one, defined as intimate terrorism, the man acts out with the clear purpose of exerting both a violent and non-violent control and dominion over the woman's actions, thoughts, and emotions. Although it is certainly arguable, it might be interesting to analyze this classification for it is risky to suppose that there are couple relationships where a symmetry in the use of violence exists both on the part of men and women -that is, that women are as violent as men.