Domestic and Family Violence
May is Domestic and Family Violence prevention month. During this time we are reminded to check in and be aware of the assistance that’s offered within the community for those suffering from domestic and family violence.
Domestic and family violence is when one person in a relationship uses violence or abuse to control the other person. Domestic and family violence is usually an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner through fear.
Regardless of whether you are a young person or an older person, whether you have been in your relationship for many years or just a short time, it's important to consider whether your relationship is safe and respectful.
You have a right to:
Express your opinions and be respected and have your physical and emotional needs treated as equally important as your partners and not be abused.
Domestic and family violence can include:
- emotional abuse (e.g. criticising your personality, how you look or your parenting skills)
- verbal abuse (e.g. yelling, shouting and swearing at you)
- stalking and harassment (e.g. constantly following, texting or phoning you, cyberstalking or tracking you through social media or Global Positioning Systems (GPS) i.e. 'find my phone' and location services on smart phones and apps).
- financial abuse (e.g. not giving you enough money to survive, or forcing you to hand over your money)
- physical abuse (e.g. slapping, hitting, pushing or trying to strangle you)
- damaging property to frighten you (e.g. punching holes in walls or breaking furniture)
- social abuse (e.g. not letting you see your friends or family, isolating you from people you care about)
- spiritual abuse (e.g. forcing you to attend religious activities or stopping you from taking part in your religious or cultural practices)
- sexual abuse (e.g. forcing or coercing you to have sex)
- depriving you of the necessities of life such as food, shelter and medical care.
Every year people die from domestic and family violence, even when there has been no history of physical violence. All forms of violence and controlling, obsessive and jealous behaviours should be taken seriously.
Children and young people are also affected by domestic and family violence – even if they haven’t directly seen or heard the abuse or violence.