There is a very common misunderstanding that domestic violence or family violence only involves physical assault that results in visible injuries to the victim. However this is not the case. Unfortunately this means that there are various forms of domestic violence that are left unidentified by victims. It also means that people who are subject to abuse may not see themselves as being involved in abusive relationships, and may not therefore seek the help that they are entitled to received.
Abuse can come in all forms and is not limited to certain groups of people – if you are living in the east, west, north, or south; if you are wealthy or if it’s a struggle to make ends meet; if you live in the Melbourne suburbs or the Hollywood hills.
There are many categories of domestic and family violence, and these should be seen as just as unacceptable as physical violence. These include:
- Physical abuse
The most widely recognised form of abuse involves any violent behaviour or threats of violence. This can be directed at you, your children, other family or friends or pets. This may include hitting, kicking, pushing, choking or threats of violence and or intimidation.
- Verbal abuse
Verbal abuse involves behaviours such as humiliating taunts (privately or publicly), or verbal put downs about someone’s intelligence, sexuality, body image or value as a family member, parent or spouse.
- Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse in relationships involve any form of sexual activity without consent. Consenting to sexual activity in the past does not indicate current consent.
- Emotional abuse/Psychological abuse
Emotional and psychological abuse involves manipulation through bullying or controlling behaviour that is toxic and damaging to someone’s self-esteem and self-worth. Emotional and psychological abuse is the most common form of abuse and is often used as a way of exerting power and control over a relationship. This may include yelling, insulting, calling you names or swearing. This can include ‘gas lighting’ or ‘coercive control’.
- Social abuse
This occurs when someone tries to control you by isolating you from your friends or family. This can include forbidding you to leave the house or moving to locations where you do not know anyone.
- Financial abuse
This behaviour involved limiting your access to money. Warning signs to look out for is that they use your money without your permission, you are not allowed to work or strictly having to account for how you spend your money.
- Spiritual abuse
This involves the use of religious teaching or cultural traditions to justify forms of abuse such as hurting, scaring or controlling you. This is often difficult to identity.
Contact some of the best family lawyers in Melbourne at Nevett Ford Lawyers today on 03 9614 7111 or email@example.com to confidentially discuss your situation and to see what options are available to you.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing any type of domestic violence at home, it is important to seek help straight away as these types of behaviours can worsen to more dangerous types of violence if unaddressed. When it is safe to do so, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Mensline.