WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence is about power and control and involving behaviour which makes you feel fearful and isolated.

Domestic Violence includes one or more of the following types of behaviour and can include threats and/or actual acts of violence such as:

Physical abuse

Physical abuse may include pushing; shoving; hitting; punching; strangulation; kicking; throwing objects; driving dangerously to frighten you; or making threats to physically harm you, your children or your pets. Physical abuse may also include behaviour that threatens your physical wellbeing, for example, denying you or your children access to medical attention or restricting the provision of adequate food and/or water.

Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse may include swearing or use of offensive language; constant criticism and ridicule; and making derogative comments. Verbal abuse may also include spreading rumours or false information about you to your friends, family or colleagues.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is any behaviour used to create feelings of distress, fear, anxiety, confusion, and/or helplessness. Examples include: constantly criticising or belittling your actions and abilities; or making threats to have you deported from Australia, to leave you or to stop you from seeing your children or threatening to commit suicide.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is any form of sexual contact or behaviour that is forced or unwanted. This might include: touching, kissing, oral sex, vaginal or anal intercourse, viewing pornography, or any other sexual act that is not wanted. Sexual abuse may occur within marriage – that is sex without your freely given consent. Consent is not seen to be freely or voluntary given if you are forced, threatened, intimidated or coerced to have sex with your partner; or if you are afraid that you will be harmed if you do not have sex with your partner.

Economic abuse

Economic abuse may include denying you access to the money you earn or are entitled to; not providing adequate income for you and/or your children’s personal needs; constant surveillance and monitoring of every purchase you make or threats to withdraw financial support.

Social abuse

Social abuse may include attempts to restrict or limit your contact with family or friends; constant surveillance and monitoring of your telephone calls; and stalking.

Cultural and spiritual abuse

Cultural and spiritual abuse includes behaviours that demonstrate a lack of regard and respect for your cultural and/or spiritual beliefs, values and practices. Examples include: constantly criticising or belittling your cultural and/or spiritual beliefs, values and practices; prohibiting conversations in your first or preferred languages; restricting you from dressing in culturally appropriate garments; or denying you access to attend cultural or religious events.

Damage to property

Damage to property includes damage to the house, household, furniture or anything else that you own or use. Examples include: breaking a plate, punching a hole in the wall, or scratching your car.

Domestic violence can occur between people in the following relationships

  • spousal relationships/intimate personal relationships
  • family relationships
  • informal care relationships

 

No-one ever deserves to be abused

 

The person being abusive is responsible for their own behaviour

 

The law can protect you from domestic violence

Is violence an issue for you?