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What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is often thought of as being mainly about physical abuse of a woman by her male partner. However, domestic violence can be any behaviour used to exert POWER and CONTROL over a person through fear.

Types of domestic and family violence behaviours include: Financial abuse, stalking, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual/cultural abuse, damage to personal property, digital abuse, social abuse and psychological/emotional abuse

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 care relationship. It is not exclusive to heterosexual relationships.

Domestic violence can occur with same-sex couples and other intimate relationships that exist in the LGBTIQ+ community.

Check out these statistics about domestic violence in Australia.

Physical Abuse

Can be direct assaults on the body using objects or weapons; assault on children, being denied access to your home, as well as deprivation of sleep or food. Physical abuse is a crime.  More

Verbal Abuse

Constant put-downs, ridicule, name calling, humiliation in public or in private, as well as insults around sexuality, body image, intelligence or parenting skills.

Social Abuse

Systematically controlling who you see, who you speak to, or who you receive phone calls, messages or email from. Controlling where you go so that you become socially or geographically isolated from other people. More

Financial Abuse

Refusing you access to money, especially where the money is legally due to you, ie your wages or an inheritance. Accumulating debt in your name, or preventing you from seeking or keeping employment. More

Damage to Personal Property

Using physical strength or violence to intimidate you by causing or threatening to cause damage to your property or valuables.

Psychological / Emotional Abuse

Behaviour and / or comments and taunts to undermine your sense of self and your personal security. This may impose a sense of vulnerability around your personal safety or mental health and wellbeing. More

Digital Abuse

This involves using technology to bully, harass or intimidate a partner, including threats to share / sharing private photos online without your consent. Controlling who you can and can’t be friends with on social media and sending insulting messages via digital platforms.

Spiritual / Cultural Abuse

Not allowing you to practice your chosen religion or cultural beliefs. Misusing religious or spiritual traditions to justify physical or other abuse towards you.


Constantly worrying or frightening you by following you, watching you, phoning, writing letters, or messaging you. Or, waiting outside your home or workplace. Stalking is a crime. More


Sexual Abuse

Any forced or unwanted sexual contact or activity. Our Sexual Assault Helpline can help you. Sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual violence is a crime.

We can help you.

Call 1800 811 811

We need your support.

With your donation we can:

  • Provide more emergency transport and accommodation to those escaping violence.
  • Provide more temporary accommodation for pets whose families have escaped domestic violence, until they set up a permanent home.
  • Provide more specialist counselling to those who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
  • Educate the community about how we can help them, or someone they love, escape a domestically abusive relationship.