Family violence can affect anyone from any social or cultural background, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It is about gaining and maintaining power and control. Family violence (or intimate partner violence) can take many forms. It is not limited to physical violence or sexual assault, but can also include emotional abuse, manipulation or social/financial control.
To assess if there is family violence in your relationship, answer the following questions.
Do either of you:
- Hit, punch, slap or hurt the other in physical ways?
- Threaten violence, push, punch, slap, hit, kick or throw things?
- Have sudden outbursts of anger that result in one person feeling unsafe?
- Physically or emotionally hurt children or pets?
- Force engagement in sexual activities without consent?
- Call the other names or make fun of the other in a way that is designed to hurt them?
- Humiliate the other in front of friends, family or in public?
- Threaten to disclose personal information?
- Become jealous or over-protective for no reason?
- Make it difficult or stop one from going out, seeing friends or family?
- Control the others money against their will?
- Change behaviour or appearance so the other partner doesn't get angry?
- Avoid talking about money orother topics?
- Feel scared, anxious or like you are 'walking on eggshells'?
- Isolate yourself from friends and family?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, family violence may be present in your relationship.
Family violence is illegal. It can cause long-term psychological and/or physical harm and result in the end of the relationship. Research shows that this sort of abuse does not stop without outside help. It is important that anyone using or experiencing family violence seeks support.
Call MensLine Australia for professional, anonymous information and support, with a 'no shame,no blame' approach.