What is Family Violence

On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner, according to the most recent analysis of homicide statistics in Australia

Family violence is violent, threatening or other itimidating behaviour by a person to coerce or control a family member/s, or causes a family member to be fearful.

A child is exposed to family violence if the child sees or hears family violence or otherwise experiences the effects of family violence.

Family violence may include the following type of behaviours  (but are not limited to):

  • an assault

  • a sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour

  • stalking

  • repeated derogatory taunts

  • intentionally damaging or destroying property

  • intentionally causing death or injury to an animal

  • unreasonably denying the family member financial autonomy

  • unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet the reasonable living expenses of the family member, or his or her child, at a time when the family member is entirely or predominantly dependent on the person for financial support

  • preventing the family member from making or keeping connections with his or her family, friends or culture

  • unlawfully depriving the family member, or any member of the family member’s family, or his or her liberty

One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence, since the age of 15

Examples of situations that may constitute a child being exposed to family violence include (but are not limited to) the child:

  • overhearing threats of death or personal injury by a member of the child’s family towards another member of the child’s family

  • seeing or hearing an assault of a member of the child’s family by another member of the child’s family

  • cleaning up a site after a member of the child’s family has intentionally damaged property of another member of the child’s family

  • being present when police or ambulance officers attend an incident involving the assault of a member of the child’s family by another member of the child’s family

  • Common forms of violence in families include:

  • spouse/partner abuse (violence among adult partners and ex-partners)

  • child abuse/neglect (abuse/neglect of children by an adult)

  • parental abuse (violence perpetrated by a child against their parent), and

  • sibling abuse (violence between siblings)