Most people in intimate relationships disagree about things from time to time. Disagreements are a normal part of a healthy relationship but both people should be able to put forward their different points of view or concerns and feel comfortable discussing them together.
In healthy relationships, both people treat each other with respect and try to overcome their problems and disagreements.
However, in a relationship where domestic and family violence occurs the situation is very different. One person in the relationship uses abuse and/or violence to control the other person through fear. The victim feels threatened - too frightened to argue back or too scared to disagree or express her opinion.
Domestic, intimate partner or family violence is a violation of human rights involving violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by an adult against a partner or former partner to control and dominate that person.
Domestic violence causes fear, physical and/or psychological harm.
Violent, abusive and intimidating behaviours are usually demonstrated by men against women although they can be woman against man, woman against woman and man against man.
Living with domestic violence has a profound effect upon children and young people and can be seen as a form of child abuse.
Domestic violence is a crime.
Family violence can include:
• physical or sexual abuse;
• emotional or psychological abuse;
• economic abuse (such as with-holding money or family resources);
• threats or coercion;
• isolating you from family & friends;
• harming, or threatening to harm, things you love (such as pets, personal belongings);
• controlling or dominating you, causing you to fear for your safety or the wellbeing of
• causing your child to hear, witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of violence.
• can happen to anyone
but is mainly committed by men against women, children and other
• affects children
Children who are exposed to family violence are particularly vulnerable and it can impact on their physical, psychological and emotional well being.
• affects the entire community
Domestic Violence occurs in all areas of society, regardless of location, socioeconomic and health status, age, culture, sexual identity, ability, ethnicity or religion.
• extends beyond physical and sexual violence
and may involve emotional, psychological and economic abuse.
• may involve overt or subtle exploitation of power
and imbalances and may consist of isolated incidents or patterns of
abuse over a period of time.