What is physical abuse?

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. 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 on 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.

A person can experience many different types of abuse that are physical. These include shaking, slapping, pushing, punching or scratching, kicking, 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.

Physical abuse/physical violence is only one form of domestic and family violence, others include Financial Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Digital / Technological Abuse, Psychological/Emotional Abuse, Spiritual/Cultural Abuse, Social Isolation, and Damage to Property

DVConnect helps Queenslanders find pathways to safety away from domestic and family violence (DFV). DVConnect operates three crisis helplines; Womensline, Mensline and the Sexual Assault Helpline. DVConnect is Queensland’s only free telephone service specialising in DFV offering crisis counsellors who can provide safety planning, information, interventions, referrals and emergency transport and accommodation. DVConnect operates Bella’s Sanctuary, a medium-term accommodation residence for women and children after leaving refuge/shelter. DVConnect also offers Workplace Domestic Violence Training to Queensland organisations. 


If you live in Queensland and are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, DVConnect can help you find a pathway to safety, away from violence. DVConnect can assist you with emergency transport ie taxi, bus, train, plane to safety, emergency motel accommodation, accommodation for your pets through the Pets In Crisis Program, safety planning – if you choose to stay, or choose to leave, crisis counselling, intervention, as well as information and referrals to additional services that can you. The DVConnect helplines are:

  • Womensline 1800 811 811, available 24/7
  • Mensline 1800 600 636 available from 9am – midnight, 7 days
  • Sexual Assault Helpline 1800 010 120, available from 7.30am – 11.30pm, 7 days.
  • For more visit www.DVConnect.org.

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Thank you DVConnect for saving my Mums life, and mine. You guys getting us out of there changed everything. Thank you so much. Life is good now! 

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  • Provide support to women and children to re-build their lives in our bridging accommodation.
  • Provide emergency transport and accommodation for women and children in crisis due to domestic and family violence.
  • Provide safety planning, crisis counselling and information to those impacted by violence.
  • Educate Queenslanders on how to help family/friends/colleagues who have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic and family violence.