What Is Family Violence?

Domestic/ Family Violence is where one person in a relationship is using violent and/ or abusive behaviours in order to control and dominate the other person.

Physical Abuse

  • Slapping,
  • punching,
  • kicking,
  • shoving,
  • choking,
  • raising fists,
  • pointing a weapon.

Psychological Abuse

  • Emotional and verbal abuse,
  • threats,
  • insults,
  • putdowns,
  • ridiculing ethnicity, cultural beliefs and practice,
  • damaging property,
  • intimidation,
  • humiliation,
  • harming pets and

Sexual Abuse

  • Sexual abuse,
  • forced sex with a partner,
  • forcing partner to participate in undesirable, painful or humiliating sexual acts,
  • continuing accusation of sexual infidelity,
  • expecting sex as a matter of right.

Social Abuse

  • Preventing the person from going out or having contact with family and friends.
  • Isolation, preventing the person from leaving the house.
  • Disconnecting or controlling the use of a phone.
  • Making the partner always account for their whereabouts.

Financial Abuse

  • Withholding or controlling against the persons will.
  • Preventing access to money, food, clothes, personal items such as car keys, keycards.
  • Restricting the person from getting or keeping a job or taking control of the partner’s income.

 Spiritual Abuse

  • Not allowing the person to have or maintain their own spiritual or cultural belief system.
  • Forbidding the attendance at church, religious or cultural gatherings, or
  • ridiculing the person’s beliefs.


  • Constant phone calls or visits to your home or workplace.

Effects of Domestic & Family Violence

There are serious negative effects for victims, families, children and communities because of domestic and family violence.

For Victims:

  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Use of drugs and alcohol to block pain
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Injury or death

For Children:

  • Guilt, feeling they are to blame for the violence
  • Behaviour such as; aggression, low self-esteem, physical reactions like bedwetting, headaches, stomach cramps
  • Withdrawing from friends
  • Problems with school work
  • Being bullied or becoming a bully
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Self-harming

Witnessing or experiencing domestic/family violence can have a damaging effect on children. It is important that they get the support they need. Ensure they have access to someone they can talk to like Kids Helpline.

If you are worried about a child who is in a situation and may be in danger, contact your local child protection agency.