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Family Violence Support

What is family Violence?

Family violence is also called domestic violence or intimate partner violence and can occur in any family or intimate relationship. It does not have to be in the home to be called family violence.  

Family Violence includes any behaviour that controls or dominates a partner or family member and causes them to fear for their own or another person's safety or wellbeing. It happens in all kinds of family or intimate relationships and across all ages, communities and cultures. It may include violence from one partner toward another partner, from an adult child toward an elderly parent, from one sibling to another sibling from an older child to a parent, between family members, from a carer towards a person they are caring for. 

Abuse can take many forms and includes:
  • isolating from family and friends
  • controlling access to money or how it is spent
  • name calling, belittling and putdowns 
  • making all the decisions and controlling what she does
  • preventing practicing of cultural or spiritual beliefs
  • intimidation 
  • making threats
  • physically harming
  • sexual abuse

Facts about family violence

  • Violence in family and intimate relationships is mostly committed by men against women. Men can be victims of violence and women can be users of violence however most of the violence that occurs in society is overwhelmingly committed by men. 
  • Men's violence against women is a leading contributor of poor health for women.  
  • Men's violence against women is common and largely goes unreported to police. 
  • Violence and abuse is about power and control. The person perpetrating the violence is seeking to control their partner or family member's behaviour or choices.  Using violence is always a choice made by the person using violence. 
  • Violence is never the fault of the victim. Victims of violence always resist violence (even if that resistance is invisible to everyone else) and try to protect themselves or others as best they can. 
  • Violence and abuse of any form is unacceptable and a breach of human rights. 

What the statistics tell us

  • 1 in 3 women will be a victim of  violence and
  • 1 in 5 will experience sexual assault 
  • Men's violence against women is the single leading contributor to death, disability and illness for Victorian Women aged 15 - 44 years. 

Regularly news reports tell us that police reports for family violence are increasing each year while other crimes are decreasing. Children are often the hidden victims and police statistics tell us that children are often present during a violence incident. In Ballarat the number of police family violence incident reports is higher than the state average. 

The majority of men's violence against women however is not reported to police, health or support services. 

Are you a victim of family violence?

Being the victim of abuse, violence or controlling behaviour in any relationship is scary. It is hard to know what to do or where to get help. It is even harder when the person using violence against you is someone you care about and is someone who is supposed to care about you. But there is help available. If you would like help or to talk to someone about what is happening you can:
  • Tell someone you trust and ask for their help. That could be a friend, family member or neighbour. Remember your safety is always the priority (for more information about safety planning, click here)
  • Call and speak to a worker at WRISC or another counselling or support service
  • Always call the police on 000 in an emergency. Victoria police have a code of practice that guides them in how best to help both victims and those choosing to use violence. 
Find Support
Emergency & support phone numbers
Support those affected by family violence
Contact Us
Call us on
(03) 5333 3666
Wrisc Family Violence Support