Domestic and family violence usually occurs as a pattern of behaviours aimed at exerting power and control over another person. This can occur in the context of intimate personal (partner or ex-partner), family, or informal care relationships.

Any person can experience domestic or family violence and it can take many different forms. If you are not sure if what you are experiencing is abuse, call us for a confidential chat.

Call 1800 811 811

Two women in an embrace on a picnic blanket on the ground.

Domestic violence is not just physical

There are many different types of abuse and all abuse is unacceptable. Abuse can include the following:

  • Coercive control Coercive control is a pattern of behaviours which aims to instil fear and control a person. Coercive control can encompass many of the forms of abuse listed below.
  • Social abuse – Social abuse isolates a person from their support networks and the parts of their lives that are separate from their partner. This can include controlling who you see, who you speak to, and sabotaging relationships so that you lose friends and family.
  • Emotional abuse Emotional abuse can include constant put-downs, ridiculing, name calling, and humiliation in public or in private. It can also include insults around sexuality, appearance, intelligence, or parenting ability.
  • Psychological abusePsychological abuse is behaviour aimed at undermining a person’s sense of self. It can make a person question their memory, sanity, feelings and judgement.
  • Tech abuse – Tech abuse which is also known as ‘cyber abuse’ or ‘tech-facilitated abuse’ can include using technology to bully, harass or intimidate a person. This can include threats to share, or sharing private photos without consent, accessing personal messages or social media accounts, controlling who you can or cannot be friends with on social media, as well as sending insulting messages online or over the phone.
  • Sexual abuse– Sexual abuse is any forced or unwanted sexual activity. 
  • Reproductive abuse – Reproductive abuse is when a person makes decisions about another person’s body or coerces a person into making certain reproductive decisions. This could include making a person stop taking their birth control, forcing a person to have an unwanted pregnancy or terminating a pregnancy, and more.
  • Systemic abuse – Systemic abuse is where a person uses systems such as the courts to continue to control, manipulate and abuse their partner or ex. This could look like taking out a vexatious DVO or making a person go into debt and emotional distress by taking them to court.
  • Financial abuse – Financial abuse can include restricting access to money, accumulating debt in another person’s name, or preventing a person from seeking or maintaining employment.
  • Spiritual or Cultural abuse– Spiritual abuse or cultural abuse can include not allowing you to practice your religion or cultural practices, attempts to justify violence or abuse with religion or spiritual practices, among others.
  • Stalking – Stalking can include monitoring, watching, and following which can instil fear and make a person feel unsafe. They may show up at your workplace, outside of your home, or use technology (tech abuse) to stalk.
  • Physical abuse including property damage– Physical abuse is the use of violence or threat of violence to intimidate, instil fear and control a person. This can also include damage to property such as smashing valuables.
  • Pet abusePet abuse can include ‘abuse’ or the ‘threat of abuse’ of pets. This is often used to manipulate and control a person and their children.

    Support is available if you are experiencing domestic or family violence. We believe you and we can help.

    Call 1800 811 811

    How your donation will help

    • 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.