Family violence is when someone in the family tries to control, hurt or manipulate others. It includes any behaviour that causes physical, sexual or emotional damage, or causes someone to live in fear or a state of high anxiety.
Violence may be perpetrated by a parent or young person and the violent person may not be abusive all the time. In fact abusive people can also be loving and kind some of the time, although this does not excuse their behaviour or actions. Abusive people may want to control others to minimise their own feelings of stress, anger, fear or anxiety. Stressors such as drugs, alcohol, unemployment and financial difficulties can cause anxiety for families, but should not be seen as the causes of violence.
Often victims may be wondering if there is something that they are doing to worsen the situation and thereby blame themselves. This can lead to the victim taking responsibility for the violent person’s behaviour.