What is family violence?
Family violence includes any actions where a family member threatens, harms, intimidates, controls or victimises another person within a family relationship or household.
If you experience family violence it is important to understand that the violence is not your fault and that there are support services that can help.
Family violence is against the law
The Victorian Family Violence Protection Act 2008 defines family violence as any behaviour towards another family member that is:
- physically or sexual abusive
- emotionally or psychologically abusive
- economically abusive
- threating or coercive or in any way controls or dominates the family member causing them to fear for their safety or wellbeing of another family members
- causes a child to hear or witness or otherwise be exposed to the effects of above behaviours.
Threatening to hurt pets or animals, whether or not the animal belongs to the family member, is also considered abuse.
Family violence can happen in all kinds of relationships
Family violence can happen in all kinds of relationships, e.g.:
- Intimate relationships (involving partners, lovers, husband and wife, ex-partners)
- Older people and their carers or children (elder abuse)
- Parents and their teenage or adult children (adolescent family violence)
- People with disabilities and their carers.
Family violence incidents in Moreland
The Moreland Violence Against Women Factsheet provides an overview of family violence incidents in Moreland reported to Victoria Police in 2015-2016:
- The total number of family violence incidents was 1,646 or an average of 32 incidents per week.
- Women make-up the majority of victims of family violence.
- Children are also affected. They were present in a third of the family violence incidents attended to by Victoria Police.
- Many individuals experiencing family violence do not report this to the police therefore these statistics are likely to underestimate the occurrence of family violence in the Moreland community.