What is Family Violence?

Our pilot project in recognition of the significance of Family Violence challenges within South Asian Communities, ran from 2018 till 2020. This project was funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Multicultural and Social Cohesion Division and evaluated by The University of Melbourne.

Key strategies

Verbal abuse

  • Swearing and humiliation, in private or in public
  • Attacks on intelligence, sexuality, body image or capacity as a parent/spouse
  • Ridiculing religious beliefs or ethnic background
  • Screaming, shouting and name-calling

Physical abuse

  • Direct assault (choking, strangulation, shaking,  slapping, pushing, spitting, burning, punching)
  • Use of weapons or objects
  • Locking the victim in or out of the house/rooms
  • Disallowing medication or medical care
  • Disallowing food or sleep

Psychological abuse

  • Creating fear, (i.e; driving dangerously, possessing weapons, angry looks)
  • Destroying  property or valued possessions
  • Hurting or killing pets
  • Making threats regarding custody of any children
  • Saying that the police/courts will not help, support or believe the victim

Emotional abuse

  • Blaming the victim for relationship problems
  • Comparing the victim with others to undermine their self-esteem/self-worth
  • Sporadic sulking
  • Withdrawing all interest and engagement (i.e.; silent treatment)
  • Emotional blackmail and suicidal threats

Social abuse

  • Isolation from, or limiting contact with family and friends
  • Instigating and controlling the move to a location where the victim has no established social circle or work opportunities
  • Restricting use of the car or telephone
  • Forbidding or physically preventing the victim from going out and meeting people

Financial abuse

  • Forbidding access to bank accounts
  • Providing only a small ‘allowance’
  • Not allowing the victim to work or have a job
  • Forcing the victim to sign documents or make false declarations
  • Controlling the victim’s pension, finances or denying that the victim’s entitlement to joint holdings

Sexual abuse

  • Any form of pressured or unwanted sex or sexual degradation 
  • Assaulting genitals (hurting your private parts)
  • Forced sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease
  • Making the victim perform sexual acts unwillingly (including taking or distributing explicit photos)
  • Criticising or using sexually degrading insults

Imaged-based abuse

  • Sharing or threatening to share intimate, nude or sexual photos or videos to friends, family, strangers in any medium, or in person
  • Accessing personal computer files to steal images
  • Photoshopping a person’s image onto a sexually explicit photo or video
  • Taking images of a woman’s cleavage or under her skirt
  • Filming sexual activity or assault

Spiritual or religious abuse

  • Using spiritual or religious beliefs to scare, hurt or control
  • Stopping you or shaming the victim for practising spiritual or religious beliefs
  • Forcing you to raise your children according to spiritual or religious beliefs you don’t agree with
  • Using religious or spiritual leaders or teachings to force you to stay in a relationship or to excuse other abusive behaviour

Reproductive abuse

  • Forcing or pressuring you to have unprotected sex, become pregnant or have an abortion
  • Passing on a sexually transmitted infection they know they have
  • Preventing use of birth control
  • Preventing or limiting your access to sexual health info and services
  • Forcing you to have operations to remove parts of your genitals

Harassment and stalking

  • Following and/or watching the victim
  • Telephone and online harassment
  • Tracking the victim’s location using with Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
  • Generally intimidating behaviour
  • Coming into the victims home, place of work or personal space without permission

If you’re concerned about the general health of your relationship, you can use this checklist.

If you, or someone you know is in need of support call 1300 00 50 40 or make an online enquiry here.