Spotting Signs of Family & Domestic Violence

Warning Signals Checklist
(Please note that this checklist is reproduced with kind permission of the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast – see link to their site in “Information and Links” section).

If you find yourself answering yes to any of the questions below may mean you are in danger.  Whether the violence or abuse has happened once or many times, you are at risk.  Regardless of where you are: Plantation to Pennsylvania, Kentucky to Key West, – lawyers may be necessary. If you find yourself in need then make sure you contact a reputable family lawyer.

These behaviours indicate your partner is choosing to use a system of power and control over you.
Emotional abuse

• Does he call you names or make you feel bad about the way you look?
• Does he verbally degrade your self-worth by constantly putting you down?

Physical abuse
• Has he ever pushed, shoved, slapped, pinched, punched, or physically hurt you?
• Does he have a history of using violence with others?

Using male privilege
• Does he always see himself as superior or always right?
• Does he treat you like you are a possession that can be owned?
• Does he insist on making all the big decisions?

Using coercion and threats
• Does he use force or coercion to make you do things against your will?
• Has he threatened to hurt the children, friends, family members or pets?
• Has he threatened to report you to Centrelink, Taxation Department, or others?
• Has he ever threatened to leave you?
• Insist you dress more or less sexually than you want?

Using isolation
• Does he try to control your contact with your family and friends?
• Does he need to know where you are constantly?
• Does he insist that you are always at home, or only let you out of the house if he is with you or insist on knowing where you are going?
• Does he monitor or limit your phone calls, conversations and emails? 
• Does he check the mileage on the car to see if he can work out where you have been or who you have seen?

Sexual abuse
• Does he pressure you to have sex which is unpleasant, pressured or forced? 
• Made you do something very humiliating or degrading? 
• Made you have sex after emotional or physical abuse or when you are sick? 

Minimising, denying and blaming
• Does he blame you for his anger and violence, saying it was your fault? 
• Does he say that you were “asking for it” after physically hitting or abusing you? 
• Does he deny using violence or say it wasn’t that bad? 

Using Intimidation
• Does he smash your belongings or break things around the house? 
• Has he ever punched holes in the walls or doors? 
• Is he easily angered and prone to sudden mood swings?
• Does your talking to members of the opposite sex result in unfounded jealousy and suspicion that is out of proportion? 

Economic abuse
• Taken away your money or controlled how you spend it?
• Refused to pay the household bills, or to give any money towards them?

Using the children
• Has he told you that you would lose custody or never see the children again? 
• Does he question the children to find out information about you

\What is Family Violence?
• Physical or sexual abuse;
• Emotional or psychological abuse;
• Economic abuse (such as with-holding money or
  family resources);
• Threats or coercion;
• Isolating you from family & friends;
• Harming things you love (such as pets, personal belongings);
• Controlling or dominating you, causing you to fear for your safety 
  or the wellbeing of another person.
• Causing your child to hear, witness, or otherwise be exposed to 
  the effects of violence.
Family Violence…
• Can happen to anyone,
 but is mainly committed by men against women, children and other vulnerable people.

• Affects children.  Children who are exposed to family violence are particularly vulnerable and it can impact on their physical, psychological and emotional well being.

• Affects the entire community.  It occurs in all areas of society, regardless of location, socioeconomic and health status, age, culture, sexual identity, ability, ethnicity or religion.

• Extends beyond physical and sexual violence and may involve emotional, psychological and economic abuse.

• May involve overt or subtle exploitation of power and imbalances and may consist of isolated incidents or patterns of abuse over a period of time.