Domestic and family violence is when one person in a relationship uses violence or abuse to control the other person. Domestic and family violence is usually an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner or family member through fear.
Regardless of whether you are a young person or an older person, whether you have been in your relationship for many years or just a short time, it’s important to evaluate whether your relationship continues to be safe and respectful.
Domestic and family violence can occur in all kinds of relationships. This includes family relationships extending beyond intimate partners like parents/parent’s in-law, son or daughter over 18, and/ or their partner / siblings/sister or brother-in law and other blood relatives.
Domestic and family violence includes abuse and violence perpetrated by or to:
The most telling sign of an abusive relationship can be feelings of fear of the other person. Do you feel like you have to constantly monitor what you say and do in order to avoid their response? If so there is a high chance your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.
Leaving an abusive relationship is very difficult, and many people make more than one attempt to leave. There are many factors contributing to a person remaining in an abusive relationship. The overwhelming number of people experiencing abuse within a relationship are women.
Many women are very aware that abuse and violence may escalate as they plan to leave and after they have left. She may feel the best way to manage her safety is to stay.
Systemic barriers such as lack of affordable housing, difficulties accessing financial support and not knowing what services can support her may also keep a woman in an abusive relationship.
LGBTIQ – Domestic abuse also occurs in LGBTIQ relationships. People may not always seek support as this will mean revealing their sexual identity, or working with a service system that is not well set up to work with people who do not identify within existing constructs of gender or sexuality. Threatening to “out” someone, questioning sexual identity, and/or minimising or normalising behaviour within same sex relationships are just a few tactics which may be used to gain power and control. For further information and support please see the link.
All relationships have some level of conflict, and can, at times, involve a lot of conflict. An abusive relationship involves a pattern of behaviour used by one person to have power and control over the other person.
Some Signs Your Relationship Might be Abusive
They often put you down and make you feel worthless
If you think your relationship with a partner, family member or informal carer might be abusive come and talk to a free and confidential counsellor at Gympie Region Domestic & Family Violence Service 5413 8088.
If you are thinking that you need to get away from a person who is abusing you, but you are worried about doing this safely our service can help you
You can access help to leave by
Research shows that the most dangerous time for women in abusive relationships is when they are planning to leave or have just left. Our job is to help you with information and resources to plan to leave safely.
You can find out more about Domestic Violence Refuge here.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) is designed to protect you, your children and other people named on the order from a person who is abusive towards you. The order can have specific conditions to stop behaviour that impacts you and makes you unsafe.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order is issued in court by a Magistrate. Domestic & Family Violence Court is a Civil Court. This means the person who is found to be abusive does not get a criminal record or conviction when they get an order saying they need to be of good behaviour towards you and any other named persons. However, if they do not do what the order says they can then be charged with breaching the order which would be a criminal offence.
Sometimes police will apply for a protection order on your behalf, but you can apply for a protection order yourself. You can get a form for this at Gympie Region Domestic & Family Violence Service if you would like support to complete it. If you prefer to do this yourself you can find the form on the Queensland Courts Website: https://www.courts.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/162168/dva-f-1.pdf
or you can get a copy from the Gympie Court House.
You can also ask to make changes to an existing Domestic Violence Protection Order by applying for a Variation to a Domestic Violence Protection Order. This will be considered by a Magistrate in Court. If Police made the application for the original Domestic Violence Protection Order then the Magistrate will consider whether police think your requested change is appropriate, but the Magistrate will also listen to your reasons for wanting the change.
Gympie Region Domestic & Family Violence Service can help you to apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order or to apply to vary an existing order.
You can find more information about getting a Domestic Violence Protection Order or what to expect when attending Domestic & Family Violence Court in Gympie here.
It is not uncommon for an abusive person to attempt to use systems such as Court or Child Safety to exert power and control over the person they are abusing. It is also not uncommon for the person being abusive to tell police who attend an incident that they are the victim. If the actual victim is too traumatised to explain what has happened to the police, the officers attending may be unable to correctly identify who is in most need of protection.
If this has happened to you, then it is really important to get some support to be able to explain to the court what really happened.
If you have actually been abusive towards a partner, family member or carer, and you want to stop being abusive, it is also really useful to reach out for support at this time.
Men who are named as Respondents in a Domestic Violence Protection Order application in Gympie can get information and support from Uniting Care 5481 3400.
Women who are named as Respondents in a Domestic Violence Protection Order application in Gympie can get information and support from at Gympie Region Domestic & Family Violence Service 5413 8088.
You can call us on 5413088 to find out more about what you need to know if you are named a Respondent in an application for a Domestic Violence Protection Order here.
You are the expert in your life and know what is best and safest for you and your children.
We work with many women who are living with an abusive person in their life and need some support to keep themselves and their children safe and to manage the effect of the abuse in their lives.
We can make some suggestions about ways to talk to your partner/family member/carer about ending the abuse (if it will be safe for you to do this) but ultimately, only the person choosing to be abusive can change their behaviour.
Many women have told us how helpful it is to be able to talk about and be believed about the abuse that is happening in their lives and to realise that they are not somehow responsible for causing or ‘triggering’ the abuse that is directed against them.
The trauma caused by abuse can affect people in so many different ways. Starting a journey towards recovery from trauma can make an enormous difference. Please contact us if you would like support.
Children are very affected by Domestic or Family Violence. They are affected even when they do not directly experience or witness the abuse themselves. Children will have a strong sense of the tension in their home and about who the person using power and control is. Children are also affected by the repercussions of the abuse, such as needing to move house due to property damage, or missing school when things are tense at home. Children who are affected by abuse within their families may show signs of trauma such as developmental delays, challenging behaviours or high levels of fear. Sometimes the signs of trauma are more subtle.
Gympie Region Domestic & Family Violence Service offers child and youth counselling for children aged between 5 and 16 who are affected by domestic or family violence. This can include play therapy, art therapy, talking therapy and other modes of support that are tailored to the needs and interests of your child.
Gympie Region Domestic & Family Violence Service also offers parenting support for mums whose children are affected by domestic and family violence. We offer a weekly Circle of Security group that is tailored for mums who have experienced domestic abuse.
If you are experiencing hardship or crisis (including homelessness) due to domestic and family violence, and are in need of assistance outside of our operational hours, please phone (or click the link) to the following: