If you use violence in your relationship

Domestic and family violence (DFV) is using abusive behaviour in a relationship so you can feel in control. This can happen once but it’s usually a pattern of behaviour.

Getting someone else to carry out the abuse for you is also considered DFV.

Abuse can include:

  • controlling what your partner spends
  • controlling who your partner talks to or spends time with
  • making threats to harm your partner or someone else they care about
  • pressuring your partner for sex
  • being jealous and accusing your partner of being unfaithful to you for no reason
  • controlling or preventing cultural or religious practices
  • throwing objects during a disagreement
  • put downs, name-calling or cruel jokes
  • pushing, hitting or slapping
  • constantly phoning and texting to check up on your partner.

DFV is often a pattern of abusive behaviours used to control and/or coerce the other person.

Abuse can happen in all types of relationships

  • Intimate personal relationships
    This includes relationships between people of the same or opposite sex, of any age, who are married, de facto, engaged, betrothed or dating. It also includes parents of a child, whether they live together or not, or are divorced or separated.
  • Family relationships
    This includes relationships by blood, marriage, extended family, kin or clan on cultural or religious grounds.
  • Informal care relationships
    This includes providing or receiving unpaid care for someone due to illness, disability or impairment.

Are you using abusive behaviour in your relationship?

  • Have you been violent or abusive to a partner, family member or someone in your care?
  • Does your partner need permission to speak to family or friends, or to spend money?
  • Have you made a loved one or someone in your care afraid?
  • Is your abusive or violent behaviour affecting your children?

Admitting you have a problem with abusive behaviour is the first step to changing your life.

Only you can control your actions. Only you can end the violence. Only you can make the right choice to create a safe and positive future for you and the people you care about.

What are the consequences of abusive behaviour?

  • Broken relationships.
  • People you love, including your children, being hurt or scared of you.
  • Losing the respect of your friends and family.
  • Causing serious injury or death.
  • A domestic violence order may be taken out against you.
  • Criminal charges and prison time.

Don’t let abusive behaviour ruin your relationship.

What happens if you stop being abusive?

  • You’ll develop more respectful, healthy and safe relationships.
  • Your children will see your positive changes, which can influence how they handle their relationships.
  • You may be able to repair some of the damage you caused.

Everyone has the right to have relationships free from violence and abuse.

How can you start changing your abusive behaviour?

  1. Talk to someone about where to get help.
  2. Stop making excuses and blaming others for your behaviour.
  3. Learn how to build respectful relationships, free from violence and abuse.

Where to get help

More information