Domestic and family violence is when an individual uses behaviour to control or maintain power over a person they are in a relationship with or are related to.
The abuse does not always have to be physical abuse. There are many different types of abuse including emotional, verbal, financial or sexual. Abuse does not have to include violence to be considered serious and dangerous.
Every year people die as a result of domestic and family violence and it affects people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Men can be the victim of domestic violence but the majority of people who are abused are women.
Signs of domestic violence
Someone who is experiencing domestic or family violence may:
- appear afraid of their partner
- appear anxious, unusually quiet, lacking in confidence, withdrawn
- have a controlling, obsessive or jealous partner
- have a partner who has threatened to harm them or harm their children or pets
- have a partner who is depressed or suicidal
- know or suspect that they’re being stalked
- receive constant texts or phone calls from their partner
- seem neglected
- appear to not have access to money or belongings
There are times when they may be at greater risk, including:
- when there’s been abuse in the relationship previously
- when the abuse has escalated
- if their partner has access to weapons
- when they are pregnant
- when their partner is monitoring their movements
- when there is conflict in the extended family
- when they are planning to separate
- after they’ve recently separated
- when they have child custody issues
- when they begin a new relationship – or the ex-partner thinks they have
- when there is financial difficulties
- when their partner has a history of mental illness
- when their partner has a history of physical violence
Domestic and family violence is part of a cycle, it is not a one-off event.
If you are …
- feeling put down all the time
- being threatened or intimidated
- being physically assaulted
- being kept short of money
- feeling isolated from family or friends
Do you feel frightened to talk about it?
Do you feel like it is your fault?
Are you children being affected and you feel powerless to help?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Many women feel like you!
The Domestic Violence Resource Service offers support and information to women, adolescents and children.