Family Violence
October 3, 2023
Crime Prevention
What is family violence?

What is family violence?

Family violence in any form is unacceptable. But sometimes people may not even realise that what they’re experiencing is violence or abuse. Knowing what family violence is and where to get help is vital.

You have the right to feel safe and respected in your relationships and in your home. You should be able to go about your daily life without experiencing violence, threats or abuse. And you shouldn’t have to live in fear of violence or feel controlled, coerced and helpless.

Although about one quarter of women in Australia have experienced violence from an intimate partner, only half of these have sought advice or support and less than 20% have contacted police. Most victims and survivors of intimate partner violence are women. (Vic Govt)

What is family violence

Family and domestic violence is any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour that occurs in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships that causes the person to feel feer.

Family violence is when someone you have a close relationship with demonstrates a continuous pattern of threatening, controlling, coercive or abusive behaviour towards you. These relationships may include

  • Husbands, wives, partners, boyfriends or girlfriend, defactos.
  • Former partners
  • Parents, guardians, siblings, in-laws and extended or blended family members
  • Adult children
  • A carer or paid support work
  • A housemate or flatmate 
  • Someone you have a “family-like” relationship with.

This repeated abuse may make you feel scared for your safety, attack your self-worth, restrict your freedom and stop you from living your life as you choose. 

It can involve threats to you, your children, your pets or family members. 

Family violence is not just physical or sexual abuse. It can include many types of abuse which are harmful and unhealthy.

Family violence hurts kids as well

Children have the right to feel safe and secure in their own home and not live in fear. Studies show that living with violence at home can cause long-term physical and emotional harm to children and can potentially affect their development.

Types of family violence

  • punching or kicking you
  • strangling or choking you
  • using force to steal or damage your belongings
  • sexually abusing and assaulting you
  • causing or threatening cruelty, death or injury to a pet or animal
  • intentionally damaging, or threatening to damage, property
  • unlawfully depriving you or your family members of their liberty

If your partner uses violence while you are pregnant or soon after birth, you will need additional and immediate support.

  • controlling your money and keeping you financially dependent upon them
  • demanding money from you in a threatening way
  • lending you money and then enforcing difficult repayments.
  • threatening or blackmailing you or your family
  • speaking to you in a way that is intimidating, abusive and/or frightening
  • bullying, putting you down and degrading you
  • stalking and making continuous unwanted approaches
  • causing a child to hear, witness or- be exposed to the effects of violent, abusive or threatening behaviour
  • using social media and technology to frighten or shame you
  • insulting or teasing you in front of others
  • isolating you from family and friends
  • controlling what you can do, what you can say, and what you can wear
  • forcing or coercing you to participate in sexual acts when you don’t want to

Get Police Assistance

For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
Call: 000
To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
Call: 131 444
To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000

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