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Identifying family violence

Family violence covers a wide range of behaviours and actions, it can be:

  • physical
  • sexual
  • psychological
  • emotional
  • cultural
  • spiritual
  • financial

The signs of family violence are not always physical. It is important that we become more aware of the less visible signs and recognise the other indicators of family violence.

Typical behaviour to be aware of can include:

Isolates you

  • stops you from leaving the house or socialising with friends or family
  • makes you feel guilty when you see friends or family
  • always checks up to see what you're doing and where you're going or asks you to constantly 'check in'
  • becomes over-protective and starts to manage and control your finances by making you have a spending allowance
  • will not trust you and wants to access your personal texts and emails
  • makes you feel afraid or scared to say 'no'.

Criticises and ridicules you

  • criticises your loved ones, friends and family
  • puts you down and making you feel worthless
  • criticises the decisions you make, no matter how small
  • tells you how useless you are and you'd be lost without them
  • makes you doubt your own memory or interaction you have had with someone
  • makes you feel stupid and that you won't be believed

Threatens you

  • you are told you are not allowed to leave and if you do they will hurt someone or even harm themselves
  • you are told that your personal information will be used against you
  • your family, friends or pets are threatened or used as ways to get you to do things you don't want to
  • tells you that you will lose your children if you don't do as you're told
  • tells you there is no one to help you if you leave the relationship
  • is violent by breaking objects or using force to scare you more


Family violence survivors have shared their stories to help others

Nicole's story

Tarang's story