Domestic violence is abuse committed by one person against another person where they are in a certain type of relationship such as a couple relationship, a family relationship and in some cases an informal carer relationship.
Abuse can take many forms including:
- Physical abuse (hitting, pushing, twisting arm, or hitting with objects).
- Sexual abuse (coercing a person to engage in sexual activity or attempting to do so).
- Verbal abuse (name calling, putting you down, swearing at you).
- Emotional or psychological abuse (repeated unwelcome contact, repeated taunting or name calling, threats to withhold things a person needs, preventing a person from making or keeping connections with other people, other tormenting, intimidating or harassing behaviours).
- Economic or financial abuse (coercing a person to relinquish control of assets or income, preventing access to a person’s property, coercing a person to sign legal documents, or preventing a person from seeking or keeping employment).
- Threats (to hurt you, another person or an animal, or to damage your property).
- Depriving a person of their liberty or threatening to do so.
- Threatening self-harm to torment, intimidate or frighten you.
- Unauthorised surveillance (reading private text messages or emails, using a GPS device to track a person’s movements).
- Unlawful stalking (following a person on foot or in a car).
- Coercing a person (to do or not do a certain thing, or to act or not act a certain way).
- Coercive control (a pattern of behaviour that may occur over a period of time, which may be more than 1 act, or a series of acts that when considered cumulatively and in the context of the whole relationship is abusive, threatening, coercive or causes fear).
- Asking someone else to do any of the above behaviours to a person on their behalf.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone. It is not a normal part of healthy relationships.