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Understanding Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic and family violence includes any behaviour, in an intimate or family relationship, which is violent, threatening, coercive or controlling, causing a person to live in fear and to be made to do things against their will. This may involve having to significantly modify their behaviour in an attempt to mitigate threats to their safety or wellbeing or the safety and wellbeing of people they care about. Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone and can take many forms. It is often part of a pattern of controlling or coercive behaviour.


Taken from DV-Alert Domestic and Family Violence Response Training Workbook

Coercive Patterns of controlling behavior to gain power and control by eroding a person’s self esteem
Cultural/Spiritual violence Not letting the person follow their own religious beliefs, misusing religious traditions to justify abuse
Financial Abuse Controls/limits money and decisions around money (no access to cash/cards)
Physical Direct assault on the body (slapping, shaking, choking)
Psychological or emotional Manipulation, humiliation (undermining the victim's self-esteem through comparisons with others)
Sexual Violence Rape, unwanted sex (made to watch pornography)
Social Isolation from family/friends, monitoring where they are going, reading messages, smashing phone
Stalking Driving past home/workplace, unwanted gifts, watching from parked car
Technology Facilitated Tracking via phone, monitoring online banking, threats on social media
Verbal Shouting, put downs