Physical abuse is a form of domestic and family violence. It is also known as physical violence. It is one of many types of domestic violence, possibly the most well known.
What is physical abuse?
Physical violence and abuse happens when a person uses physical force against another person. It can include direct assaults on the body using objects or weapons; assault on children, assault of pets, being denied access to your home, deprivation of sleep or food. Physical violence and abuse can start slowly and inconspicuously, for example with throwing an object or a slap, and get more intense or worse over time.
Signs of physical abuse
A person can experience many different types of abuse that are physical. These include:
- shaking, slapping, pushing, punching or scratching
- spitting or biting
- trying to strangle or choke
- using weapons
- driving dangerously
- destroying property and throwing things
- abuse of children or pets
- locking someone out of their house or in the house
- sleep and food deprivation
- forced feeding
- physical restraint e.g. pinning against the wall or bed.
Abusive relationships move through a cycle of violence. The cycle of violence includes periods of tension, then physical violence and abuse, followed by a calm period where the abuser is sorry, promises never to do it again, promises to get help, is on their best behaviour, even buying their partner gifts. But this doesn’t last. It is followed by tension, then physical violence and abuse, then calm and it continues on. This can make it difficult to leave a physically abusive relationship.
Learn more about the other types of abuse.
What to do if you are experiencing physical violence
If you are in an abusive relationship or need to talk to someone, please call us:
Womensline 1800 811 811
Mensline 1800 600 636