Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence can also be referred to family and domestic violence and or intimate partner violence.  Irrespective of the title it is a shameful part of our community.  We know that at least 23% of women in Australia have experienced domestic or family violence, and as the latest Australian Bureau of statistics figures point out, this accounts for around 2.2 million women.

If you have experienced violence and abuse from your ex partner you are not alone.  Please seek out assistance.  Domestic Violence can be explained as a pattern of abusive behaviour through which a person seeks to control and dominate another person.  Some examples include (but not limited to):

  • physical eg slapping, hitting, choking, stabbing
  • sexual eg rape, harassment, being forced to watch pornography
  • emotional or psychological eg isolating the person from friends, family, culture, threats against children, pets, threats to commit suicide or self-harm
  • economic eg withholding money, controlling family finances, taking out loans in a partner’s name without consent
  • stalking eg repeated following, watching, calling, texting or harassing

Survivors of violence and abuse begin recovery when they are in a safe and secure setting, their rights to safety are recognised and there is an absence of danger.

It is widely recognised that women experience domestic violence at far greater rates than men do, and women and children often live in fear as a result of the abuse that is used by men to maintain control over their partners.

Domestic and family violence occurs in all sections of our community and across all cultures.  Being abused is NOT a normal part of domestic and/or family life.

Domestic violence is often not recognized by others, particularly if it is the more subtle psychological and emotional abuse. A Woman herself may not recognize that what is happening is domestic violence.

Domestic and family violence occurs when someone in an intimate or familial relationship attempts to gain and/or maintain power and control over another through a wide range of abusive behaviors:

A single act may amount to abuse.  A number of acts that form part of a pattern of behaviours may amount to abuse, even though some or all of those acts, when viewed in isolation, may appear to be minor or trivial.

Relationship violence usually does not take the form of a single incident. It is ongoing behaviour that gradually undermines the victim’s confidence and ability to leave the violent person.  The severity and frequency of violence often escalate over time.

Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other.  Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.

Abuse can be difficult to identify, because an abusive person doesn’t always act this way.  Sometimes they may be loving and kind.  But if you often feel afraid of upsetting your partner, and change what you do to avoid their anger, then this is a sign that you are being abused.

All forms of abuse – psychological, economic, emotional and physical – come from the abuser’s desire for power and control.

This list can help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship.