Did you know? Some facts about domestic and family violence

What is the difference between normal conflict and domestic and family violence?

Some conflict is normal in relationships, but abuse is never ok.  Abuse is behaviour that causes physical, psychological, or verbal harm to people, and it is sometimes used to gain power and control over another person. To learn more, read types of abuse.

Does the promotion of women’s rights threaten social stability?

Women’s rights are human rights. Preventing domestic and family violence in a community will strengthen the community. Research has shown that violence against women will continue to occur in places with attitudes that see women as less than equal to men.

Is it okay to use force with family members or people close to you?

No type of violence is ever okay. Forcing anyone into any form of behaviour against their will is not acceptable and against the law.

What if someone makes a false claim about domestic and family violence or sexual assault?

False claims of domestic and family violence or sexual assault are extremely rare. Domestic and family violence and sexual assault are under-reported to the police. People are often reluctant to report it for many reasons, including fear of not being believed.

Is it easy for a victim to leave or stop a violent relationship if they wanted to?  

There are many reasons why a person may be unable to leave an abusive relationship. Many victim-survivors want to leave, but they can’t because:

  • They are scared for their own or their children’s safety
  • They have no money to support themselves
  • They have nowhere to go
  • They think no one will believe them
  • They feel ashamed
  • They want to try to keep the family together.

Victim-survivors are most at risk of severe violence and death when they try to leave or just after they leave their abusive situation.

Does domestic and family violence only happen between married couples?

No. It can happen to family members, people that live in the same house, married and unmarried couples and ex-partners. It can happen to anyone, regardless of their cultural background, religion, gender, sexuality, or economic status.

Can a person using violence stop a victim-survivor from seeing their child if they want to leave a relationship?

No. Children have the right to have a relationship with both parents, even if their parents are separated. However, the time a person using violence is permitted to spend with their children can change if children are at risk of harm. Every case is different, and legal advice should be sought from  a lawyer experienced in Family Law. Read more about how domestic and family violence is considered in Family Law matters, and how arrangements for children are decided following separation.

Is domestic and family violence a result of a traumatic and violent upbringing?

Using violence is a choice. There are many people who have experienced domestic and family violence in childhood and do not use violence when they are adults.


You can also download these guidelines in a PDF format by clicking the following link: Did you know? Some facts about domestic and family violence (PDF, 99.4 KB) 

Last updated:

21 Nov 2022

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