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How family violence is defined

How family violence is defined

How family violence is defined

Family violence is when someone exercises power and control over another person. It involves coercive and abusive behaviours that intimidate, humiliate, undermine and isolate, resulting in fear and insecurity.

In Victoria, the meaning of family violence is set out in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. 

Family Violence covers a wide spectrum of behaviours including physical and sexual abuse, as well as psychological, emotional, cultural, spiritual and financial abuse. It can occur in intimate partner relationships, extended families, kinship networks, intergenerational networks and carer relationships (Responding to Family Violence Capability Framework, 2017 p. 6

Prevelance of family violence in Australia

According to evidence:

  • One in three Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15
  • One in six Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner 
  • On average, one woman is murdered a week by her current or former partner. 

Family violence statistics infographic

Image Source: "Living in Fear," DVRCV Facts on Family Violence 2016


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