What is family violence?

Family violence is any threatening, coercive, dominating or abusive behaviour that occurs between people in a family, domestic or intimate relationship, or former intimate relationship, that causes the person experiencing the behaviour to feel fear.


Family violence includes behaviour towards a family member that is physically, emotionally, sexually, economically or psychologically abusive. It includes behaviour that is threatening, coercive, controlling, or dominating.


Family violence is not an argument once in a while; it is a continuous pattern of abusive behaviour perpetrated by one person towards another, often using multiple tactics.

The Family Violence Protection Act 2008 is now the main legislation governing domestic and family violence in Victoria.

The Victorian government recognises that:

  • Family violence violates human rights

  • Family violence is not acceptable in any community or culture

  • Anyone can be a victim or perpetrator of family violence, but family violence is predominantly committed by men against women, children, and other vulnerable persons

  • Family violence can impact on children’s physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing


Is any of the following happening to you or someone you know?

  • Are you yelled at, pushed, shoved, slapped, pinched, hit or physically hurt

  • Belongings being broken or hidden

  • Being prevented from seeing or speaking with family, friends and community

  • Being stopped from participating in spiritual practice

  • Threat to hurt children, pets, other family members or friends

  • Feeling pressured to unwanted sexual acts or contact

  • Being criticised or scrutinised

  • Having no control over your finances or money

  • Being belittled or downgraded around your children or in public


Someone else’s choice to use violence is NEVER your fault


Call 000

Safe Steps
on 1800 015 188