Types of family violence

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Family violence includes many different types of violence and abuse.

Emotional and psychological abuse

This kind of family violence is when a family member insults, upsets, intimidates, controls or humiliates another family member. It includes:

  • yelling, swearing and name-calling
  • putting someone down in front of other people or in private
  • using words to intimidate or threaten someone
  • doing or saying things to make someone feel confused or less confident
  • stopping someone from spending time with friends or family

Physical abuse

This kind of family violence is any harmful or controlling physical behaviour that one family member uses towards another. It includes:

  • shoving, pushing, punching, hitting, slapping, biting or choking
  • using weapons or objects to harm someone
  • damaging or destroying someone's personal belongings or property
  • harming other family members or family pets.

Sexual abuse

This kind of family violence is any unwanted sexual behaviour by one family member towards another, even if you are married or in a relationship. It includes:

  • threatening or intimidating someone into unwanted sexual activities
  • exposing someone to sexual images or content they don't want to see
  • sharing sexual images or content about someone without consent
  • engaging in unwanted sexual contact with someone
  • raping someone.

Harassment, stalking and threats of harm

This kind of family violence is unwanted behaviour like:

  • following someone to see where they're going or who they're meeting
  • tracking phone calls or phone locations
  • constantly ringing or texting someone
  • threatening to harm someone or the people close to them
  • repeatedly waiting near your house or your workplace

Financial abuse

This kind of family violence is controlling finances like:

  • not letting someone access money
  • controlling the family money
  • not giving someone enough money for essential items such as food, petrol, medical, children's clothing and items for school
  • refusing to give someone money for recreational purposes eg: to go out with friends, to play sports
  • taking money, bank or credit cards against someone's will

Cultural /Spiritual Abuse

This kind of family violence is when a family member uses power and control to deny another family member their cultural and spiritual rights. It includes:

  • denying someone access to cultural or spiritual ceremonies or rights
  • ridiculing someone's beliefs or culture
  • not allowing someone to take part or belong to a cultural group
  • stopping someone from practicing their culture or religion
  • denying someone their cultural heritage
  • stopping someone's religious observances or practices

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