What is Domestic Violence?

5Domestic violence is any abusive behaviour used by one partner in a relationship to gain and maintain control over the other person´s life.

It can occur in any type of domestic relationship, including married or de facto relationships, intimate personal relationships including gay or lesbian relationships, family relationships, or informal care relationships.

The most common example of domestic violence is the use of violence by men to stop women and children living in safety and free of fear in their own home. Some women and children also suffer as a result of discriminatory policies, practices and attitudes in our society based on cultural background.

The abuse or assaults in domestic violence may get more dangerous and occur more often over time, so it's important to get help as early as possible. Domestic and family violence can include:

  • physical assault (including punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, choking, or the use of weapons)
  • sexual assault (being forced to have sex or participate in sexual activities, either by watching or participating)
  • emotional abuse (making you feel worthless, criticising your personality, your looks, the way you dress, constantly putting you down, threatening to hurt you, your children or your pets)
  • verbal abuse (including yelling, shouting, name-calling and swearing at you)
  • social abuse (being stopped from seeing friends and family, isolating you socially or geographically)
  • damaging property such as furniture, the house or pets in order to threaten or intimidate you
  • financial abuse (taking control of the money, not giving you enough money to survive on, forcing you to hand over your money, not letting you have a say in how it is spent).
  • spiritual deprivation - keeping you away from places of worship, forcing you to participate in spiritual/religious practice that you do not want to be involved with

 

Argument or Domestic Violence and Abuse?

An Argument

argument_eg

Domestic Abuse

abuse_eg

 


 

This is a violent and abusive relationship where there is power and control

abuserelationship_wheel

This is a healthy relationship where there is equality

healthyrelationship_real

 

 


Take a look at the Duluth power and control wheels gallery here. The  power and control wheel shows an abusive relationship. Do any of these behaviours sound familiar for you or someone you care about? This second wheel shows a healthy relationship where there is equality.
 

What to do about it?

If you are being abused, or if you think some you know is being abused, there is help available. Ring the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 from anywhere in NSW, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are in immediate danger (if your life or your children's life is being threatened) call 000 (triple zero) and ask for the police.

More information for victims of domestic violence is available in the Community Services Domestic Violence brochure here. You can print this off and give it to the person you are concerned about. Advise them to keep the printout in a safe place where it cannot be found by the person abusing them.

SEE OUR LOOKING FOR HELP PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION

help and support

Domestic and Family Violence is a crime. There is no excuse for violence. If you or someone you know is a victim of violence or abuse, there is help available. If you are in immediate danger (if your life or your children´s life is being threatened) call 000 (triple zero) and ask for the police or for other help ring the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 from anywhere in NSW, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Translators are available.