DFV Explained

The information provided below is general information only. It does not replace advice and support from a domestic violence specialist.

What is Domestic and Family Violence     

Domestic and Family violence or abuse is when one person behaves in a way that controls or dominates another person and causes fear for their safety and wellbeing.

Domestic and Family violence or abuse is usually a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour taking many forms. It happens in intimate, family or informal care relationships. Regardless of age, culture, sexuality or gender identity, you have the right to live without fear.

The Act states that the ‘Meaning of Domestic Violence’ is

What domestic violence means

What domestic violence includes

Examples of domestic violence

What is Coercive Control

Physical and sexual abuse may not begin until later into a relationship and for many women, this type of behaviour first appears during pregnancy. However, controlling and dominating behaviour may be present at the start of the relationship but can be construed as jealousy, and is often regarded as a compliment or a sign of strong love.

Not all domestic abuse is physical, and some types of abuse may be hard to recognise. Some people can live with this type of abuse for years and not realise that it is abusive. Coercive control refers to a pattern of behaviours used by an abuser to control their partner and create an uneven power dynamic. Some examples of coercive control behaviours are listed below.




Name Calling



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