This study analyses the violence inflicted on women by partners or expartners. A definition of this term and its components (mental, psychological and sexual violence) are presented and discussed. The statistics for domestic violence in our country are analysed, and its status as a "hidden crime" is stressed. Finally, two important questions are studied: what causes domesticviolence, and why some women remain in a violent relationship.
free text keywords: Domestic violence; definition; "hidden crime"; theories., maltrato de mujeres; definición; delito oculto; modelos causales.