What is family

Relationships shouldn't feel scary or unsafe.
Healthy relationships are based on equality and respect between people. While people in healthy relationships have occasional arguments, people in unhealthy relationships behave in a way that hurts the other person, frightens them or makes them feel unsafe.

Examples of family violence:

Physical or sexual: they hurt you, break objects or use force to scare you, make you afraid to say ‘no’.

Emotional, psychological, cultural or spiritual: they might put you down and make you feel worthless; criticise you, your loved ones, friends or family; criticise or control decisions you make, no matter how small; manipulate you, and stop you from connecting with your community or culture.

Financial: they manage or control your money, stop you from working, and make it hard for you to live independently by taking away money or other things you need to do this.

Threatening: they make you feel afraid; harm themselves if you choose to leave or do something they don’t like; threaten to tell others about personal information: tell you that you will lose your children if you don’t do as you’re told.

Coercive: they might make you feel guilty when you see family or friends; tell you that you are useless, worthless or not good enough; try to convince you that you’d be lost without them; make you doubt your own memory or interaction you have had with someone; make you feel stupid and that you won’t be believed.

Controlling or dominating: they may check up to see what you’re doing and where you’re going or ask you to constantly ‘check in’; they do not trust you and want to access your personal texts, emails or other messages; cause you to feel afraid for your own or someone else’s safety.

Isolation: they limit or prevent your access to work, friends and family, telephone, activities, etc.

For more information and to find support in your area, visit the orange door.

Experiencing family violence?

We have a page with helpful information, tips and support here. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence and need help or support, you can contact the support services listed on our get help page. Call 000 for Police or other emergency services if you require immediate assistance.