Domestic abuse – it’s more than physical violence

Domestic abuse is often thought of as being mainly about physical violence of a woman by her male partner. However, domestic and family violence is not always physical and it often starts subtly with psychological/emotional abuse, social isolation or financial abuse.

Domestic violence, also referred to as domestic and family violence is any behaviour used to exert power and control over a person through fear.

Domestic and family violence takes place in the context of an intimate partner relationship; against a previous intimate partner, within a family relationship, or in an informal relationship. It can happen within any intimate partner relationships and is not exclusive to heterosexual relationships. It also happens in same-sex couples and other intimate relationships that exist in the LGBTIQ+ community.

No one person’s experience is the same and there are many different types of tactics of power and control. Some of these include:

Psychological/emotional abuse: Behaviour and/or comments and taunts to undermine your sense of self or personal security. This may cause you to feel vulnerable or concerned for your personal safety, mental health and wellbeing.

Financial abuse: Accumulating debt in your name. Refusing you access to money, especially when it is legally yours. Preventing you from seeking or keeping a job.

Social isolation: Systematically controlling who you see and/or who you talk to, and/or who you receive phone calls, messages or emails from. Controlling where you go so that you become socially or geographically isolated from other people.

Stalking: Constantly worrying or frightening you by following you, watching you, phoning you, writing you letters, messaging you, waiting outside your home or workplace.

Verbal abuse: Constant put-downs, ridiculing you, name calling, humiliation, sexuality insults, body image insults, intelligence insults and parenting skills insults to name a few.

Damage to personal property: Using physical strength or violence to intimate you by causing or threatening to cause damage to your property or valuables. Within the Australian law, pets are referred to as property.

Digital/technological abuse: Using technology to bully, harass or intimidate a partner, including threats to share or sharing private photos online without your consent. Controlling who you can and cannot be friends with on social media and sending insulting messages using digital platforms.

Spiritual/cultural abuse: Not allowing you to practise your chosen religion or cultural beliefs, or misusing religious or spiritual traditions to justify physical or other abuse towards you.

Sexual abuse: Any forced or unwanted sexual contact or activity,

Physical abuse: Direct assaults on your body using objects or weapons including their body. Assaults on children, being denied access to your home and/or deprivation of sleep or food.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence, DVConnect can help. Providing emergency transport and accommodation at no cost to help Queenslanders escape domestic and family violence. Including pets.

Call 1800 811 811, anytime 24/7 or visit www.DVConnect.org

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  • Provides operational support to fund our bridging accommodation residence Bella's Sanctuary.
  • Provides emergency transport and accommodation for Queenslanders in crisis due to domestic and family violence.
  • Provides safety planning, crisis counselling and information to those impacted by domestic and family violence.
  • Educates Queenslanders on how to help family, friends and colleagues who have experienced, or are experiencing domestic and family violence.