Family and domestic violence is not always easy to identify because it is not always physical, and you might feel as though the behaviours of the person using violence, abuse or intimidation are “normal”. Family and domestic violence can take on many and numerous forms, including psychological and emotional abuse.
Some early warning signs of family and domestic violence may include:
- Checking your social media or phone without your permission
- Trying to limit you from seeing your family and friends or preventing you from doing things you enjoy
- Making you feel scared, anxious or intimated
- Trying to keep in constant contact with you during the day and becoming angry if you are unresponsive
- Putting you down or criticising you
- Making you feel as though everything you do is wrong
- Accusing you of being unfaithful or flirting with others
- Needing to know where you are all the time
- Controlling aspects of your life, for example what you wear or who you spend your time with
- Threatening to hurt you, your children or your pets
You might see these warning signs in other relationships, or you might accept these behaviours as normal. The person using violence, abuse or intimidation might not have been abusive in the beginning of your relationship. They might have periods where they are extremely loving and caring, before they fall back into their old abusive behaviour – this is called the domestic violence cycle. They might have never physically hurt you or your children. None of these factors mean that your relationship is less abusive. No matter how ‘normal’ these behaviours may seem, they are not acceptable,
There is help and support available to you.
- Speak confidentially with an experienced counsellor about what you are experiencing; you can find help locally with our online directory, of local domestic violence support services
If you would like to speak with someone confidentially about what you are experiencing, DVassist can connect you with help in your local town through our online service directory. If you cannot find help locally, we also have a comprehensive list of state and national domestic violence services providers you can contact.
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