What is family violence?

Family violence includes many types of behaviours used control or have power over someone else. Family violence doesn’t always involve physical abuse.

Family violence is always a choice made by the person using the violence and control. It is not the fault of the victim.

It is never okay for someone to:

  • control where someone goes or whom they speak to
  • physically attack or hurt someone
  • threaten someone or their loved ones, including a pet
  • limit their access to necessities, including healthcare
  • stalk or monitor someone, including online
  • force someone to do sexual things they don’t want to do
  • put someone down or humiliate them
  • control their finances and financial decisions
  • threaten to take away their children
  • use their visa status to control them
  • stop them from practising religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs and rituals
  • make them feel scared to say ‘no’.

Family violence is not always easy to identify because the violence is not always physical. All partners, family members and others in close relationships disagree or argue from time to time, even within a healthy relationship. When disagreements and arguments become a consistent, pattern, it might be a sign of family violence.