It’s not just physical

Family violence can be physical, sexual, psychological or financial and can include neglect.

It is never OK for your partner or any member of your family to use violence to hurt or control you. Survivors say psychological abuse attacks their spirit and self-esteem and its effects last the longest.

Psychological violence to adults or children includes:

  • Making you feel like everything you do is wrong
  • Tormenting you emotionally
  • Constantly criticising you or your friends
  • Humiliating you in front of your friends
  • Using unsafe driving to frighten you
  • Damaging property/walls/possessions to scare you
  • Making you isolated and alone
  • Blaming everything on you
  • Threatening to take the children away or hurt them
  • Stalking, following, checking up on you
  • Harming pets to punish you
  • Stopping you from, or forcing you to, practice a faith or religion
  • Making you feel scared of what might happen next.

Sexual abuse includes:

  • Forcing you to have sex or do other sexual acts you don't want to do
  • Touching you in a way you don't want
  • Frequently accusing you of sleeping with other people
  • Forcing you to watch porn.

Physical abuse includes:

  • Hitting and punching
  • Biting, pushing, choking or pulling your hair
  • Making you drink or take drugs when you don't want to
  • Using or threatening to use weapons.

Financial abuse includes:

  • Taking your money or property
  • Running up debts in your name
  • Misusing power of attorney
  • Pressuring you into paying money. 

Neglect includes:

  • Not providing food, clothing and warmth
  • Leaving dependants alone or with someone who is unsafe
  • Not providing comfort, attention and love
  • Not providing medical treatment.

It is never OK for your partner or any member of your family to use violence to hurt or control you.

Family violence is a crime. You can report any family violence to Police or Child, Youth and Family.

Call the Police on 111 if you think you or someone else is in danger.

If it's not an immediate crisis but you want support or someone to talk to about your concerns, phone our information line for local services that can help you: 0800 456 450; search under 'Family Violence' in the Family Services Directory,

or contact the following organisations for help: