What is Family Violence?

Family Violence includes any behaviour that controls or dominates a partner or family member and causes them to fear for their own or another person's safety or wellbeing. It occurs when a family member intentionally uses violence, threats, coercion or intimidation to control or manipulate another family member, partner, or former partner. It happens in all kinds of family or intimate relationships and across all ages, communities and cultures. It may include violence from one partner toward another partner, from an adult child toward an elderly parent, from one sibling to another sibling from an older child to a parent, between family members, from a carer towards a person they are caring for.

Abuse can take many forms and includes:

  • Isolation from family, friends and/or social networks
  • Controlling access to money or how it is spent
  • Emotional and psychological abuse eg constant criticisms, name-calling, belittling and putdowns
  • Making all the decisions and controlling what she does
  • Preventing practicing of cultural or spiritual beliefs
  • Intimidation
  • Making threats
  • Physical assault eg punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, choking
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Harming pets
  • Any behaviour that causes someone to live in fear
  • Intentionally damaging property and belongings