What is family violence?


Violence is any act that makes another person feel fearful and unsafe. Family violence can include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal and financial abuse. It can include damage to property and injury to animals. Essentially, family violence is any form of threatening, coercive, controlling and dominating behaviour that makes a family member fear for their safety or well-being or for the safety or wellbeing of another person.

In respect of a child, child abuse is a form of family violence and includes behaviour that causes a child to hear, to witness or to otherwise be exposed to the effects of family violence.

Family violence is predominantly, but not exclusively, perpetrated by men against women and children.

“Family violence” is defined in section 5 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) (“FVPA”). The FVPA gives examples of the different forms of family violence.