Family Violence

Women and children experiencing family violence are welcomed by staff at Centre Against Violence with a range of services. One of the first hurdles for most women is to answer the question of their own experience: Is this family violence?

One way to help you answer the question is to consult Women’s and Children’s Support workers.  They use their specialist training to provide you with a risk assessment and inform you of your current risk in relation to the family violence. The risk assessment will be utilised to prepare a safety plan.

Another way to help answer the question is to read a definition of family violence. The definition provided here is the one used by the State of Victoria.

Family violence is the repeated use of violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour by an individual against a family member(s), or someone with whom they have, or have had, an intimate relationship with. This can include carers.

Violent behaviour includes:

  • physical assaults
  • all sorts of power and control tactics
  • including direct or indirect threats
  • sexual assault
  • emotional and psychological torment
  • economic control, property damage
  • social isolation and behaviour which causes a person to live in fear
  • It also includes the perpetrator harming himself or threatening suicide to frighten and intimidate the victim.

It is also behaviour that harms children because they see and hear it. It is very frightening for children. Women who are victims of family violence often report feeling dominated and controlled, feeling fearful of their safety and the safety of their children or others they love, including their pets.

Family violence can occur within any intimate relationship, including same sex relationships. It affects transgender people, elderly people and people with disabilities.

You can choose to stay, to leave or to ask for help.

Help is available though safety planning. This is an important activity to undertake regardless of your personal decision to stay or leave.

What can you do?

Everyone needs support and the right support is the one that works for you. Some people prefer to rely on friends and family, while others prefer to include professional supports in their recovery. We believe that gaining safety is your fundamental human right. You have the right to make choices that support your daily safety.

You can:

  • Contact us and seek a crisis care, support or recovery service.
  • Work out which friends or family members are those you will include for support.
  • Talk about your fears and worries when you are ready to.
  • Make a safety plan: safety is a term used to refer to your physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Consider your choices, one of which is whether to report the crime and seek an exclusion order and/or intervention order.

Include self care strategies in your daily life to support YOU.

The team at Centre Against Violence can help you to plan your self care strategies.