Signs of family violence in someone you know

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People experiencing family violence often don't tell anyone. This might be because they've been threatened about telling anyone or they don't think anyone will believe them. Also, people experiencing family violence sometimes blame themselves for the abuse or feel ashamed about it, so they don't want to talk about it.

If you think someone you know is experiencing family violence, there are signs you can look out for. The person might:

  • regularly have physical injuries like scratches or bruises – the person might say that the injuries don't matter or are because of a clumsy accident
  • seem afraid of their partner
  • speak about their partner as being jealous, moody or bad tempered
  • describe their partner as controlling – for example, the person has to get their partner's approval to do things or go places, they may not be able to be involved in cultural activities
  • seem more anxious, jumpy, distant or depressed than usual
  • often be criticised by their partner
  • not socialise as much as they did in the past
  • not want to leave children with their partner or family member.

These are only some of the signs of family violence, and sometimes these signs happen because of other things going on in a person's life. But a combination of these signs over time might mean that someone is experiencing family violence.

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