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What does family violence look like?

  • Emotional: put downs, harassment, threats to people/property/pets, intimidation, blaming you for the violence
  • Isolation: making it hard to see family, friends and to seek support, making others turn away from you
  • Physical: slapping, punching, kicking, shoving, using weapons
  • Sexual: coercion, molestation, rape
  • Financial: withholding money, keeping you financially dependant

If someone is hurting you and/or your children, it is not your fault. Everyone has the right to a safe, happy home. No one needs to live in fear. You have the power to be free from abuse!

What does psychological abuse look like?

Psychological violence is the control of a person through mind games and fear. This type of abuse can be well hidden from a victim or their support people, causing them to doubt themselves, the seriousness of their situation and eat away at their self-esteem. Psychological abuse is designed to make a victim feel powerless, at fault and deserving of the abuse they are receiving.

Some examples:

  • Name-calling, shaming, belittling and making you feel small
  • Threats of personal harm, or harm to loved ones, pets or things
  • Shouting and yelling
  • Come between you and the kids, demeaning and undermining the relationship
  • Intimidation, stand-over tactics, punching holes
  • Blaming you for the violence that happens, “if you hadn’t raised your voice to me I wouldn’t have had to…”
  • Breaking things that are close to your heart as punishment
  • Excessive, unwarranted jealousy
  • Needing to know where you are, who you are with and what you are doing all the time
  • Humiliating you in front of others
  • Denying things and confusing you about their behaviours
  • Puts on a friendly, “nice person” front to others so they may not believe you
  • Control the finances, only provide a small insufficient allowance for household items, demand to see receipts to account for money spent

These are just some examples of psychologically abusive behaviour – every situation is different. Often these behaviours are characterised by a “blow up” incident, followed by a time where the abuser feels remorseful and apologises and tries to “make up”. However, the abuse often starts again until another incident. This is called the Honeymoon Cycle and is typical.

If you think you or someone you know are experiencing this and want to talk to a support person to find out your options, contact someone. If you are doing these to your loved ones and want to stop, check out our page with supports for those who truly want to change their behaviour and create a safe relationship and family (click here).

What does physical violence look like?

Bruises, cuts and physical hurt are what most people associate with family violence. Physical violence is whenever someone lays a hand on you to hurt you intentionally. This often goes hand-in-hand with psychological violence, and not only affects physical harm by emotional harm as well.

Some examples:

  • Punching and slapping
  • Hair pulling
  • Kicking
  • Throwing someone across the room
  • Throwing objects at you to hit or intimidate you
  • Spitting on you
  • Using weapons – this includes threatening you with knives or guns

These are just some of the ways physical violence is shown. If you or someone you know are dealing with these behaviours, please visit our Information for Victims page. If you are using these methods to control your partner or are scared your behaviour may escalate to this, then visit our Information for Perpetrators page to put an end to the abuse.

If you or someone you know identifies with this, there is assistance out there for you.

Go to our Help for Victims page for contact details of services in your area ready to talk.

What does sexual violence look like?

Sexual violence occurs in any type of relationship – straight, gay/lesbian or bisexual – and is another tool used to control and demean victims.

  • Touching you intimately without your consent
  • Pressuring you for sex
  • Forcing you into sex
  • Making you do sexual acts you are not comfortable with
  • Controlling birth control
  • Deliberately spreading STIs (sexually transmitted infections)

These are just some examples of sexual violence. Your body is yours alone and your consent is vital to a healthy sexual relationship. If you, or someone you know, have experienced any of these then please visit our Help for Victims page to find some support options available.