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How to recognise abuse

You might be unsure whether what a friend or relative is experiencing is ‘abuse’.

Maybe you just have a feeling that something is wrong. Sometimes there may be clear signs such as bruises and injuries, but often the signs are much more subtle.

Some warning signs to look for:

  • She seems afraid of her partner or is always very anxious to please.
  • She has stopped seeing her friends or family, or cuts phone conversations short when her partner is in the room.
  • Her partner often criticises her or humiliates her in front of other people.
  • Her partner threatens to report her to immigration.
  • She says her partner pressures her to do sexual things that are uncomfortable or against her will.
  • Her partner often orders her about or makes all the decisions (for example, her partner controls all the money, tells her who she can and can’t see, and even what she watches on television).
  • Her partner accuses her of having an affair or looking at other men.
  • She often talks about her partner’s ‘jealousy’, ‘bad temper’ or ‘possessiveness’.
  • She has become anxious or depressed, has lost her confidence, or is unusually quiet or shy.
  • She has physical injuries (bruises, broken bones, sprains, cuts) and has elaborate stories and unlikely explanations as to how these occurred.
  • Her children seem afraid of her partner, have behavioural problems or are very withdrawn or anxious.
  • She is reluctant to leave her children alone with her partner.
  • After she has left the relationship, her partner is constantly calling her, harassing her, following her, coming to her house or waiting outside.

Related

The information above has been sourced from DVRCV. Their website is a comprehensive resource for domestic/family violence information. Go to www.dvrcv.org.au to find out more.