The United Nations defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. Children are also deeply affected by the violent act either as witnesses or as survivors themselves.

Violence against women and children crosses all socio-economic levels, age, groups, races, religions and countries. Studies reveal that around the world, at least one out of three women, or up to one billion women, have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in their lifetimes. Despite the increased attention to the issue and many positive developments in policy and practices, campaigns and activities, it is still widespread in all European countries.

Although the phenomenon of domestic violence is widely spread, it has not led yet to the inclusion of the topic in educational governmental programmes. There is a general lack of training offers dealing with the topic.