Who is impacted?

Family Violence is not limited to intimate partners. In this section you will learn about the different people or groups that can be impacted by family violence.  

Partner Violence

Partner abuse can happen in dating relationships as well as long-term relationships. Ex-partners can also be abusive even though the relationship has ended.

It's not OK for a person in an intimate relationship to control or frighten their partner. Partner violence has damaging and far-reaching effects on the victim. If you are worried about someone, don’t be afraid to ask if they need help.

Partner Violence Resources


Child abuse is most often linked to partner abuse, that is, if a parent is being abused then it's likely that children in the household are also being abused or affected by the violence.

It's not OK for children and young people to experience violence whether they are victims or witnesses.

Research shows that violence in the home affects children whether they see it, hear it or just know about it. In 2010, 70% of child abuse cases attended by Police were family violence related.

Family violence is not only physical, like slapping, shaking, or hitting.
It is also:

  • throwing things

  • constant shouting and swearing

  • put-downs

  • involving children in sexual activities

  • any threatening and controlling behaviour

  • all the things that make children frightened or scared.


It's important to remember that children need adults to keep them safe, and we all have a role to play in this. If you are worried about a child  – don't ignore it.


 Children Resources


Migrant Families

Family violence is a crime in New Zealand.

The law protects married couples, couples in civil unions, gay and lesbian couples, ex-partners, boyfriends and girlfriends, children, flatmates and other people who share accommodation from family violence.

Here are some things people may say to excuse violence:

  • "You have brought shame on our family."

  • "Young people should obey their elders."

  • "You are too much like a New Zealander."

  • "You must respect the old ways."


Culture is no excuse for abuse

Migrant Family Resources


Disabled People

People with a disability can be affected by family violence.

Abuse can be intentional or it can be caused by neglect such as forgetting to pick up medication, not providing adequate care, leaving them alone for long periods of time or not providing meals.

Here are some ways people with a disability can experience family violence.

  • Not providing adequate care

  • Leaving them alone for long periods of time

  • Not providing meals

  • Withholding food or medication or over-medicating

  • Controlling or misusing their money

  • Making them do sexual things that make them feel uncomfortable

  • Never letting them be alone with a health practitioner or other helping professional

  • Forcing them to have an abortion or be sterilised

  • Humiliating them in front of other people

  • Checking up on their whereabouts all the time

  • Controlling their behaviour and relationships with others

Disabled People Resources


Rainbow Community

Relationship violence can happen to anyone.
People who are part of the rainbow community  (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, takatāpui, queer, fa'afafine) may face similar types of violence to other people, but there are particular tactics that can be used to control or manipulate.


These include:

  • threats to be ‘outed’ to friends, whānau or employers

  • hiding or otherwise limiting access to hormones  or other medication

  • engaging in sex or sexual activities without consent, such as barebacking (men having sex without a condom).


Rainbow Community Resources