Domestic violence is violence by someone who has a close personal relationship or emotional bond with the person they are abusing. The types of relationships include married couples, de facto couples, partners living apart, parent and child, siblings, or flatmates.
The central factor in determining domestic violence is FEAR. The violence forms a pattern of power and control that makes the people being abused, usually women and children, fearful and afraid for their lives.
Violence is caused by the abuser's attitudes and behaviours. Domestic violence is not about a 'bad relationship'. Violence is not just getting angry. Abusers make the choice to use violence to get what they want and to assert their control over the other person.
Domestic violence is not always obvious black eyes and bruises. The tactics used might be invisible to someone outside the family, the behaviour might seem trivial or random, but together the tactics have the effect of manipulating and controlling, making the person being abused feel fearful.
Domestic violence has many negative effects. It affects all parts of our lives, such as physical and mental health, emotional well-being, financial resources, relationships and friendships, employment, and cultural connections.