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Family violence and conflict

What is family violence?

Family violence (FV) is a recurring pattern of behavior aimed at intimidating, controlling, and abusing someone within a family or domestic setting. The severity and frequency of family violence can intensify over time.


Victims of FV

Any member of a family or household, including children, adults, elderly individuals, and individuals with disabilities, can be victims of family violence.

Forms of FV

Also referred to as domestic violence or intimate partner violence, FV encompasses various forms of abusive behavior within familial or intimate relationships. These types of violence can have severe physical, emotional, psychological, and social consequences for the individuals involved. FV can take multiple forms, often overlapping. They include:

Physical Violence: Involves the use of force or aggression to cause physical harm to a family member or intimate partner. It can include actions such as hitting, slapping, kicking, punching, choking, or any other form of bodily harm.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse: Involves the use of verbal or non-verbal tactics to control, manipulate, or degrade a family member or partner. Examples include constant criticism, humiliation, intimidation, threats, and isolation from friends and family.

Sexual Violence: Refers to any non-consensual sexual activity within a family or intimate relationship. This includes rape, sexual assault, coercion, and any unwanted sexual advances or behaviors.

Stalking: Involves a pattern of unwanted, obsessive, and intrusive behaviors, such as following, harassing, or threatening a family member or intimate partner, either in person or through technology.

Financial Abuse: Involves controlling or exploiting a family member's or partner's financial resources. It can include withholding money, preventing access to financial accounts, and forcing someone to work against their will.

Neglect: Occurs when a caregiver fails to meet the basic needs of a family member, particularly in cases involving children or elderly individuals. This can include neglecting their physical, emotional, or medical needs.

Digital or Online Abuse: With the increasing use of technology, family violence can also manifest in the form of digital or online abuse, including cyberbullying, harassment, unauthorised sharing of personal or explicit content, and controlling or monitoring someone's digital presence or explicit content.

Coercive Control: A pattern of behavior where the abuser seeks to dominate and control every aspect of the victim's life, often through a combination of physical violence, emotional abuse, isolation, and manipulation.

Parental Alienation: This form of family violence involves one parent attempting to manipulate a child's perception of the other parent, often through denigration, false accusations, or emotional manipulation, which can harm the child's relationship with the targeted parent.

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It's important to note that family violence can occur in various relationships, including those involving spouses or partners, parents and children, siblings, and other family members. Recognizing the signs of family violence and seeking help is crucial to ensuring the safety and well-being of those affected by it. If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, consider contacting support organizations for assistance and resources.


Seeking help


A 24/7 family violence response center in Victoria offering crisis support, information, and accommodation.​


A 24/7 family violence response center in Victoria offering crisis support, information, and accommodation.​

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Provides 24/7 counselling for young people aged 5 to 25.


The Orange Door: Provides support for family violence and families in need of child-related support.


A 24/7 family violence response center in Victoria offering crisis support, information, and accommodation.​


Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence: Offers support services for migrant and refugee women​


Provides confidential support for older Victorians experiencing abuse.


    Offers information and support for adult male victims of family            violence and violent crime.

  • Phone: 1800 819 817 or text 0427 767 891 (8am to 11pm every day)


A counseling service for men dealing with emotional health and relationship concerns.


To report children and young people whose safety is at risk.

  • PhoneDuring business hours call (check the Child protection contacts page for the areas covered)

  • North Division intake: 1300 664 977

  • South Division intake: 1300 655 795

  • East Division intake: 1300 360 391

  • West Division intake - metropolitan: 1300 664 977

  • West Division intake - rural and regional: 1800 075 599After-hours call 13 12 78 (5pm to 9am, Monday to Friday, 24 hours on weekends and public holidays)

      Child Protection website (DHHS)

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