What is family violence?


Family violence is when your partner, ex, carer, family member or someone you’re in a ‘family-like’ relationship with uses threatening, controlling and violent behaviour that makes you scared for your own – or someone else’s – safety and wellbeing. 

Family violence doesn’t always involve physical or sexual abuse. People use a wide range of abusive behaviours to maintain power and control in relationships. No matter what form it takes, family violence is never acceptable.

It is never okay for someone to:
  • Control where you go or who you speak to
  • Physically attack or hurt you
  • Threaten you or your loved ones, including a pet
  • Limit your access to necessities, including face masks or healthcare
  • Stalk or monitor you, including online
  • Force you to do sexual things you don’t want to do
  • Regularly put you down, humiliate you or attack your self-esteem
  • Control your finances and financial decisions
  • Threaten to take away something you value, like custody of your children or your visa status
  • Stop you from practising religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs and rituals
  • Make you feel scared to say ‘no’ to doing something

Are you concerned someone you know may be experiencing family violence? Read our information for friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.