Domestic violence is considered to be part of a pattern of coercive behaviour exhibited by one individual with the aim being to establish and maintain power and control over another person with whom he or she has or had an intimate relationship (1). The phenomenon of violence has been shown to have a significant impact on interpersonal interaction within and without the home (2, 3). This has prompted the development of a public health approach to managing this aspect of human behaviour with the underlying belief being that violence is a part of the nature of human beings but not a defining characteristic (4). The evidence suggests that the sanctuary of the home may also be a place of peril, incubating horrendous acts of violence. These acts of violence may be manifested through physical, sexual, psychological and economic or financial abuse (5, 6).