If someone is violent or abusing and hurting you or your children, it is not your fault.
It is against the law for anyone to hurt you or any member of your family. Your family includes your spouse, partner, children, carer, parent or in-law.
It is against the law for children to be hit, see or hear violence in the home. They have the right, as adults do, to feel safe in their own home and not live in fear. Exposure to violence can cause long-term harm to children.
Family violence takes many forms and it occurs across all social groups in the community. While physical violence may be the most visible form, other forms of violence and abuse can be equally harmful. Women and children are most commonly the victims of family violence.
Types of family violence
- Controlling behaviours such as deciding who you can see or what you do.
- Stalking behaviours such as following you or monitoring your online activity.
- Verbal abuse such as put downs, threats and intimidation.
- Physical assault such as pushing, slapping, punching, choking.
- Sexual assault such as manipulating or forcing you to do sexual things, even if you are married.
- Emotional abuse such as lowering your self-esteem.
- Social abuse such as isolating you from family and friends.
- Economic abuse such as controlling access to money.
- Spiritual abuse such as preventing you from practising your spiritual beliefs.
- Threats to harm you, your children or pets.
- Threats or actually self-harming and saying you are responsible.
The organisations below can provide help to people experiencing family violence:
- Safe Steps Family Violence and Response provides 24 hour support for women and children experiencing violence and abuse from someone close to them.
- 1800RESPECT provides confidential online and phone counselling, information and referral service for anyone experiencing sexual assault, and domestic and family violence.
- MensLine is a telephone and online counselling service offering support for Australian men anywhere, anytime.
- Men’s Referral Service provides support by men for men to help them stop using violent and controlling behaviour.
- Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence is a specialist family violence service that works with women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, their families and their communities, in non-English languages.
- The Orange Door is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children.
- Victims Support Agency provide victims with practical assistance, counselling and support through the justice system.