What is Domestic Violence?

DV WomanDomestic and family violence (DV) is a pattern of abusive behaviour used by one person in a relationship to gain and maintain control over another’s personal life. DV can happen in any relationship. This can include relationships between same sex partners, parents abused by their children, abuse of older people and abuse of young people.

The most common type of DV is the use of violence by men towards women and their children within the family home. However it is acknowledged that there are also victims and offenders of both genders.

Domestic violence can happen across all communities, all cultures and all social and economic conditions.

Domestic violence leaves people physically hurt and/or fearful, sad, depressed and despairing.

People presenting with domestic violence may talk of experiencing:
  • Physical assault – hitting, punching, pushing, grabbing, kicking, biting, burning or using weapons and/or
  • Sexual violence – all sexual behaviour that is forced on someone without their consent and/or
  • Psychological / Emotional / Verbal abuse – being put down, yelled at in an insulting or
  • Frightening manner, threatening or intimidating them, their children or pets and/or
  • Social abuse – being denied access to family and friends, the phone or transport, constant surveillance or imprisonment in the
  • Home and/or
  • Economic abuse – being forbidden to work, taking control of the money, being given limited money to live on, having no say in
  • How the money is spent
  • Stalking – unwanted phone calls, letters, emails, text messages, drive by’s or contact through other people.

All domestic violence is wrong and some forms of domestic violence are a crime. It is an abuse of power and control, and it is the individual who commits the violence who is responsible.