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What is Family and Domestic Violence (FDV)?

November 17, 2016

 

When asked recently how we define such a complex issue, we turned to the experts in the field to check our alignment with their statements (see below).  We found that no single definition matched perfectly, so summarised the key aspects and created our own. 

 

PVAW Definition:

Domestic and family violence is violent, threatening or controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship that over time causes a partner or former partner to feel fear, physical harm and/or psychological harm. It can include:

  • physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse

  • neglect

  • financial abuse

  • stalking

  • harm to an animal or property

  • restricting your spiritual or cultural participation, or

  • exposing children to the effects of these behaviours

 

1800 RESPECT:

Domestic and family violence, also known as domestic violence, family violence or partner violence, is a pattern of abusive behaviour in an intimate relationship that over time puts one person in a position of power over another, and causes fear. It is often referred to as a pattern of coercion and control.

 

Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA):

Domestic and family violence is when someone intentionally uses violence, threats, force or intimidation to control or manipulate a family member, partner or former partner. It is characterized by an imbalance of power whereby the perpetrator uses abusive behaviors and tactics to obtain power and control over the victim causing fear. The violence is intentional and systematic and often increases in frequency and severity the longer the relationship goes on.

 

Australian Department of Human Services:

Family and domestic violence is conduct that is violent, threatening, coercive, controlling or intended to cause the family or household member to be fearful. It can include:

  • physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse

  • neglect

  • financial abuse

  • stalking

  • harm to an animal or property

  • restricting your spiritual or cultural participation, or

  • exposing children to the effects of these behaviours

 

White Ribbon:

Domestic violence refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are or have been in an intimate relationship. The perpetrator uses violence to control and dominate the other person. This causes fear, physical harm and/or psychological harm. Domestic violence is a violation of human rights.

Domestic violence in Australia can include:

  • emotional abuse

  • physical assault

  • sexual assault

  • verbal abuse

  • financial abuse

  • psychological abuse

  • isolating a woman from her friends and family

  • stopping a woman from practicing her religion.

 

ABC Fact Check

The broad definition of domestic violence to include all violent, threatening or controlling behaviour that affects intimate partners who may or may not be living together, and other family members and carers.

 

Our Watch

Domestic violence – refers to acts of violence that occur in domestic settings between two people who are, or were, in an intimate relationship. It includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial abuse.

 

Family violence – is a broader term than domestic violence, as it refers not only to violence between intimate partners but also to violence between family members. This includes, for example, elder abuse and adolescent violence against parents. Family violence includes violent or threatening behaviour, or any other form of behaviour that coerces or controls a family member or causes that family member to be fearful. In Indigenous communities, family violence is often the preferred term as it encapsulates the broader issue of violence within extended families, kinship networks and community relationships, as well as intergenerational issues.

 

 

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