Feminist voices were the first to call attention to the epidemic of domestic abuse and femicide. Unbelieveably, right into the 1960s it had been considered a personal and not a social issue. Most interventions for domestic violence today are strongly informed by feminist insights. One such insight is the interplay between domestic violence in individual cases and sexism in the society as a whole.

One position is that sexism causes domestic violence. In this view, men are encouraged and taught to abuse women, and think of them as acceptable targets. Since however, only a minority of men (probably under ten percent) act as primary aggressors, it seems necessary to assume an additional factor or factors that are specifically determining.

A different position is that sexism allows abuse to continue largely unchecked. This is un-debatable. Combating sexism in a culture will clearly increase survivor awareness and survivor options, and save lives.