Emotional Abuse is Family Violence

Emotional Abuse Signs and Symptoms

  • Yelling or swearing
  • Name calling, insults, mocking
  • Threats, Intimidation
  • Ignoring and/or excluding
  • Isolating
  • Humiliating
  • Denial of abuse, blaming the victim

Examples of Emotional Abuse

  • Threats of violence or abandonment
  • Intentionally starting fights or arguments
  • Making someone believe they will not be provided for
  • Lying
  • Making derogatory or slanderous statements
  • Socially isolating someone, not letting them visit or have visitors
  • Withholding important information
  • Demeaning someone
  • Excessively criticizing
  • Being disrespectful
  • Treating someone like a servant or a child

Some people feel that they are not being abused because they are not being attacked physically. Attempts to control, scare, intimidate and isolate you can be just as damaging to your physical health as physical abuse.

Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship

  • Monitors what you are doing at all times
  • Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Prevents or discourages you from seeing your friends and family
  • Tries to stop you from going to work or school
  • Gets angry in a way that is frightening to you
  • Controls how you spend money
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Threatens to hurt you or someone you care about physically
  • Threatens to harm themselves to get their own way
  • Decides things for you, like what you wear, or what you eatAt safe steps

– 1800 015 188 calls for support are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year In AUSTRALIA

This information was published by American National Domestic Violence Project.

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Ages and Developmental Stages: Symptoms of Exposure to Family Violence

As with other trauma types, children’s responses to domestic violence vary with age and developmental stage. In addition, children’s responses depend on the severity of the violence, their proximity to the violent events, and the responses of their caregivers.

The table below shows a brief list of possible reactions/symptoms by age: young children (birth to age 5), school-age children (aged 6 to 11) and adolescents (aged 12 to 18). 

Age Birth to 5

Age 6 to 11

Age 12 to 18

  • Sleep and/or eating disruptions
  • Withdrawal/lack of responsiveness
  • Intense/pronouncedseparation anxiety
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Developmental regression, loss of acquired skills
  • Intense anxiety, worries, and/or new fears
  • Increased aggression and/or impulsive behavior
  • Nightmares, sleep disruptions
  • Aggression and difficulty with peer relationships in school
  • Difficulty with concentration and task completion in school
  • Withdrawal and/or emotional numbing
  • School avoidance and/or truancy
  • Antisocial behavior
  • School failure
  • Impulsive and/or reckless behavior, e.g.,
    • School truancy
    • Substance abuse
    • Running away
    • Involvement in violent or abusive dating relationships
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal

It is important to remember that these symptoms can also be associated with other stressors, traumas, or developmental disturbances, and that they should be considered in the context of the child and family’s functioning.

Victoria Police Discrepancy in actual Reporting Family Violence

A copy of a Domestic Violence Survivors Victoria Police report & actually what happen. The discrepancies are outstanding. This is 2012.
LEAP ENTRY:
REPORT BY M/36918 SSKUNI (have no idea what that means but i took notes of every leap entry and i am aware you can check the authenticity of information your end).Reporting member 36918 Const Govic sskuni st kilda uniform committed between hours 2330 02/03/2012 and 2350 hours FRI
there is a remark FAMILY VIOLENCE – (deleted comment)
In regards to (deleted), that is where I was born. I have never been involved in any criminal activity or I dont even know where (deleted) street is. So I do not know what relevance this is. I will be contacting my mother (who still resides there) to ask where wills street is.
anyway back to report…
THE RESPONDENT AND AFFECTED FAMILY MEMBER HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR APPROX 10 YEARS AND HAVE TWO CHILDREN TOGETHER. ONE MALE AGED 7 AND ONE FEMALE AGED 6. RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN STRAINED SINCE CHRISTMAS 2011, (note, in western australia I recieved a black eye and a fractured hand at christmas 2011 it is in mypolice report dated 25.09.2012). THE AFM HAS APPROACHED THE RSP IN THE LOUNGE ROOM AND BEGAN A VERBAL ARGUMENT WANTING TO KNOW TO THE STATUS OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP. AFM WAS MODERATELY AFFECTED BY ALCOHOL. BOTH PARTIES HAVE BEGUN TO ARGUE AT THIS POINT. NO VIOLENCE OR THREATS OF VIOLENCE MADE BY EITHER PARTY. BOTH PARTIES HAVE THEN CONTACTED POLICE. POLICE ATTENDED AND RSP HAS AGREED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR THE NIGHT AND STAY WITH FAMILY. BOTH CHILDREN WERE ASLEEP AND DID NOT WITNESS THE INCIDENT. POLICE HAVE NIL SAFTEY CONCERNS AND INFORMAL REFERRALS MADE ON THIS OCCASSION.
END OF REPORT
Ok, this is what actually happened. He was yelling all day, he was in a filthy mood, I was avoiding him. Eventually he punched me in the face and threatened to kill me and the children. I rang a support person, who is 80 years old,(might i add her grandaughter is a police officer detective i think and can vouch for her grandmothers religious and sound mind, and tells the truth. She provided an affidavit of the facts to police, as well as witnessed the polices involvement.) and informed her he had hit me and threatened to kill me. She told me to get the children away from him and me, and ring the police immediately. She got out of bed and came to my home immediately. She witnessed all the police involvement that night.
So I get the children into the front bedroom, barracked the door with furniture, he was on the other side of door screaming and carrying on and I rang police
the 000 call states (i am sobbing in the background and you can hear the children crying) That I am barracked in my bedroom that I had been punched in the face, that he was threatening to kill me etc. They kept me on the line until police arrived. Six police might i add.
I had not been drinking, I had taken panadol forte for the pain. My face was swollen, and I ended up losing a tooth. I already had bruises on my upper arms from other injuries earlier that week, and my hand was swollen due to another injury about six days earlier. The children were upset and clinging to me, and I got them into my bed to sleep. When my friend turned up she did all the negotiation with the police, knew about all the history of violence, and made them remove him from the house. That simple. She also was aware that the children had seen everything, and she encouraged me to stay in one room with the children and keep them carm rather than seeing the police officers etc.
Descrepancy? I think so. That is a safety notice 100%. He broke back into the house the next day and assualted me again. I fled with children to my friends house (same person as above).

Emotional Abuse Does not show Scars

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mentalabuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Emotional abuse is just one form of abuse that people can experience in a relationship. Though emotional abuse doesn’t leave physical scars, it can have a huge impact on your confidence and self-esteem. There are a couple of different types of emotional abuse and it might not be noticeable at first. However, if you are being emotionally abused there are a number of things you can do to get support.

Emotional abuse is elusive. Unlike physical abuse, the people doing it and receiving it may not even know it’s happening.

It can be more harmful than physical abusebecause it can undermine what we think about ourselves. It can cripple all we are meant to be as we allow something untrue to define us. Emotional abuse can happen between parent and child, husband and wife, among relatives and between friends.

The abuser projects their words, attitudes or actions onto an unsuspecting victim usually because they themselves have not dealt with childhood wounds that are now causing them to harm others.

In the following areas, ask these questions to see if you are abusing or being abused:

  1. Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating. judging, criticizing:
    • Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others?
    • Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you?
    • When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive?
    • Do they tell you that your opinion or feelings are “wrong?”
    • Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings?
  2. Domination, control, and shame:
    • Do you feel that the person treats you like a child?
    • Do they constantly correct or chastise you because your behavior is “inappropriate?”
    • Do you feel you must “get permission” before going somewhere or before making even small decisions?
    • Do they control your spending?
    • Do they treat you as though you are inferior to them?
    • Do they make you feel as though they are always right?
    • Do they remind you of your shortcomings?
    • Do they belittle your accomplishments, your aspirations, your plans or even who you are?
    • Do they give disapproving, dismissive, contemptuous, or condescending looks, comments, and behavior?
  3. Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings:
    • Do they accuse you of something contrived in their own minds when you know it isn’t true?
    • Are they unable to laugh at themselves?
    • Are they extremely sensitive when it comes to others making fun of them or making any kind of comment that seems to show a lack of respect?
    • Do they have trouble apologizing?
    • Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes?
    • Do they call you names or label you?
    • Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness?
    • Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests?
  4. Emotional distancing and the “silent treatment,” isolation, emotional abandonment or neglect:
    • Do they use pouting, withdrawal or withholding attention or affection?
    • Do they not want to meet the basic needs or use neglect or abandonment as punishment?
    • Do they play the victim to deflect blame onto you instead of taking responsibility for their actions and attitudes?
    • Do they not notice or care how you feel?
    • Do they not show empathy or ask questions to gather information?
  5. Codependence and enmeshment:
    • Does anyone treat you not as a separate person but instead as an extension of themselves?
    • Do they not protect your personal boundaries and share information that you have not approved?
    • Do they disrespect your requests and do what they think is best for you?
    • Do they require continual contact and haven’t developed a healthy support network among their own peers?

United Nations has Grave Concerns of Childrens Human Rights being Breached in Australia

“Every child has the right to live free from violence, but the confronting reality for many children in Australia is that domestic and family violence is a very real part of their everyday lives,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

“This roundtable seeks to better understand the experiences of children exposed to such violence, and to ensure the voices of children are an explicit focus in our broader national conversation about domestic and family violence.”

Prevalence estimates from the 2012 Personal Safety Survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics also show that children’s exposure to family and domestic violence is widespread in Australia and is predominantly associated with violence against women. According to 2012 estimates, 17% of women and 5% of men in Australia over 15 years had experienced violence by a partner. Much of the violence was seen or heard by children in their care.

“Children and young people have directly raised with me the importance of living free from domestic and family violence,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

“We need to listen to their voices, learn from their experiences and develop the right prevention and reporting measures to keep all children safe.”

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has previously expressed grave concerns about the exposure of Australian children to family and domestic violence.

“The right of every child to live free from all forms of violence is one of the fundamental principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Commissioner Mitchell said.

“The Convention also requires the protection of children who are exposed to and witness family and domestic violence.

“We as a nation need to do far more to ensure we are meeting our international obligations and are, most importantly, protecting our kids from being subject to violence.”

While there is no national data on the proportion of child protection notifications that relate to family and domestic violence, it is estimated that family and domestic violence is present in 55% of physical abuses and 40% of sexual abuses against children.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has reported during 2013–2014 there were 40,844 substantiated child protection notifications in Australia, with 40% for emotional abuse, 19% for physical abuse and 14% for sexual abuse.

As part of the national consultation, submissions have also been sought from children’s rights experts and community organisations. Findings of the roundtable and national consultation will be the subject of the Children’s Rights Report 2015. 

If you need support, contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or www.kidshelp.com.au

this pubilication was from the Human Right Coimmission May 2015 Publication

Domestic Family Violence can affect Children in many ways

How does domestic and family violence affect children?

Understanding the trauma that domestic and family violence can cause is an important step in supporting children who are affected.


When children live with domestic and family violence, they are experiencing trauma. It can be trauma that is ongoing and long-lasting. Domestic and family violence can have impacts on health, development and wellbeing. The effects build up over time, and can impact on every aspect of their life.

Domestic and family violence can affect children in many ways

Children are affected if they:

  • Witness the violence against their mother or carer, or see their fear
  • Hear it in another room, or have to hide or run from abuse
  • Have to tippy-toe around an abuser to try to prevent outbursts
  • Have to comfort, clean up or take additional responsibilities for siblings/carers following violence
  • Are victimised for supporting their mother or carer
  • Are encouraged to join in with verbal abuse or contempt for their mother or carer
  • Cannot be cared for properly as the abuse is either directly preventing it, or is causing poor mental health and exhaustion for the carer 
  • Experience disrupted attachment with their mother or primary carer as infants, or the normal co-regulation of emotions between a mother and infant is disrupted
  • Are abused themselves. People who abuse their partners or ex-partners often abuse their children as well
  • Have an acquired brain injury from physical abuse
  • Are forced to have ongoing contact with someone of whom they are scared or whose presence is a ‘trauma trigger’, following previous incidents where the children have been traumatised

The impacts of domestic and family violence are complex

When children experience domestic and family violence, it can affect their:

  • Behaviours – they can act out, over-react, be hostile, impulsive, aggressive or defiant. They can also withdraw or dissociate or run away. All these behaviours can be normal to children who have been traumatised by family or domestic violence, and do not mean the children have ‘disorders’. Drug and alcohol use can be a problem with older children.
  • Development – normal development can be impaired. They can look like they are regressing or acting younger than their age. This can be a subconscious way of trying to get to a state where they are safe and secure. It can also be a result of the harm to the brain’s development caused by exposure to trauma.
  • Relationships – they may avoid closeness and push people away. Children may also attach to peers or adults who may be unsafe for them, to try to develop an alternative secure base, if home feels insecure.
  • Emotions – children often feel fearful, stressed, depressed, angry, anxious or ashamed. Emotional security is the foundation of healthy relationships later in life. This security can be damaged if attachment between the mother/carer and baby is disrupted by domestic violence. 
  • Learning – they may not be able to concentrate at school because they are constantly on the lookout for danger. This can be subconscious. Detentions, missed school and frequent changes of schools can also affect learning.
  • Cognitions – children may have low self-esteem, and think negatively about themselves or people around them. (For example, they may think, ‘everyone hates me’.)
  • Physical health – a range of illnesses may be related to domestic and family violence. Headaches, stomach aches, stress reactions (for example rashes or immune system related illnesses) and sleep disturbances (for example nightmares, insomnia or bedwetting) are common.

Helping children recover

How quickly and completely children recover from the effects of domestic and family violence depends on whether:

  • They can be kept safe from violence and from reminders of previous trauma – known as ‘trauma triggers’
  • They are supported and comforted within a ‘protective cocoon’ of care after they experience trauma
  • The schools and childcare centres they attend provide an understanding and supportive environment to help with healing and recovery
  • They can have security, safety and care in their everyday lives
  • They have access to specialised trauma-informed therapies or help, if they need them
  • They can rebuild a safe and secure attachment with their mother or a protective carer, if they have been exposed to violence in their early years
  • Other disadvantages impact on the child’s life, such as poverty, isolation or school bullying

Recovery can also depend on individual personalities and strengths.

this article has been published from https://www.1800respect.org.au

Why Victoria Needs a Specialised Court to tackle Domestic Violence Family Court

I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to 12 years of Physical & emotional trauma.

I attended Family Court in Melbourne yesterday only to sit in the courtroom and wait for my case to be heard at about 3.00pm.

While waiting I hear other cases. One woman, with no legal representation, up against the Department of Human Services lawyer, and Barrister, an Independent Childrens Lawyer and Barrister. She had no one with her and no support.

Her children had been taken into care because her ex boyfriend was taking ice. The mother has moved, no longer associated with the ex, and is trying to get her children home.

She has never had a drug or alcohol problem, but in order to get one sleepover a week with her kids, she has to do random drug and alcohol screening, and a psychiatrist report. She has never been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The there was the case of a muslim women who has not seen her children for seven years. Her ex husband took them to Lebanon seven years ago, and stayed there for two years, and his parents in Lebanon now have custody.

This womans only choice was to allow the ex husband to have his passport back, and him taken off the Federal Airport watch list so that he could return to Lebanon to collect children and apparently bring them back.

The mother was giving him the money for the childrens tickets. She was not allowed to go with him, at his request. The kids don’t have Australian passports……I dont think he’s coming back with those kids…

So after three more other domestic violence related cases, I was in tears. My PTSD had kicked in, and I was a bumbling mess.

I had only been before this Judge once, and she called me a Frequent Flyer in the family Court System! I informed her that I had been only once before her, she informed me that “Judges Talk”. She made jokes about my domestic violence, and inferred I am a liar.

I was there to report an urgent assault on my son (the forth in 2 years) by the father. The judge told me she would not entertain the thought. Even though under Section 67ZD of the Family Law Act 1975 this can be addressed once the court is made aware. I provided a letter from Human Services, she told me she didnt care. That if it was so important Human Services would attend court.

I left the court immediately.

We need a specialised court in Victoria that understands Domestic Violnce, and Court Support so that Domestic Violence suffers are not reabused by the system.