Domestic and family violence in our communities is real. In an emergency call the Police on Triple Zero
Are you in a healthy relationship?
Healthy relationships are based on love and respect not power and control. A healthy relationship is one that brings you happiness; where you feel safe, supported and respected. It’s a relationship where you’re treated with fairness and accepted for who you are.
There can be times in a relationship when you don’t always agree or get along. But there is a difference between respectfully disagreeing with someone and hurting, humiliating, threatening or frightening someone. When did you last do a health check on your relationship?
If you think your relationship is unhealthy and you don’t feel free to be yourself, you may be experiencing domestic and family violence.
The most important thing to remember is that domestic and family violence is not about conflict, it’s about power and control. In a healthy relationship, there is an equal balance of power between partners, and both partners feel free to state their opinions and make their own decisions.
Domestic and family violence
Domestic and family violence happens when one person in a relationship uses abuse or violence to maintain power and control over the other person.
Abuse is not always physical. It can be emotional, sexual, financial, social, spiritual, verbal, psychological or technology-based. Or it can be some other form of controlling behaviour or threatening behaviour that causes the person being abused to be fearful.
This is the form of violence many of us are most familiar with and involves causing physical harm to control another person. For example:
- purposely knocking over or causing other kinds of injury.
Emotional abuse is difficult to identify, but it can lower your self-esteem and confidence, impacting on your mental health and wellbeing. Examples are:
- name calling
- intentionally embarrassing you
- telling you what to wear
- preventing you from seeing friends and family.
Financial abuse can start with subtle, controlling behaviour and can end in complete control over your personal finances. For example:
- withholding money
- getting angry about the amount of money spent
- stopping you from working.
Psychological abuse can affect your inner thoughts and feelings as well as exerting control over your life. Examples are:
- destroying your personal items as a way of frightening you
- ‘outing’ or threatening to out you to family, friends or employers
- telling, or threatening to tell, others about your HIV status
- controlling access to medications
- pressuring you to conform to sex or gender norms
- sending a stream of abusive text messages or demanding phone calls
- constantly keeping check of where you are and what you are doing.