Family Violence Information and Support

Family Violence is a complex issue. New Zealand has very high rates of family violence, which means individuals, families, whānau and communities impacted by family violence are harmed. Reducing the impact and incidence of family violence requires a collaborative government and community effort.

NZDF is committed to promoting the wellbeing of its people and their families. Family violence is a social issue with the potential to impact on the reputation of the NZDF and the wellbeing of members of the NZDF and their families and, therefore, on the effectiveness of the NZDF. NZDF has had a policy on the prevention, intervention and management of family violence since 2014. Information about where to go for information, support and what to do if you think someone you know may be experiencing Family Violence are provided here.

What is Family Violence?

Family violence takes many forms and includes:

  • physical abuse – hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, kicking, burning, stabbing, shooting and choking/strangulation
  • psychological abuse – threats (to harm, commit suicide or report to authorities, for example), harassment, stalking, possessiveness, put-downs, isolation from friends and family, intimidation, verbal abuse, humiliation and manipulating children
  • sexual abuse – rape, coerced sex, unwanted sexual activity, forced pregnancy or abortions, forced involvement in prostitution or pornography
  • financial abuse – abuser makes all the financial decisions, does not allow victims to buy basic needs, makes them account for every cent, steals their money, incurs debts in their name, forces them to work, or does not allow them to work when they want to.

Any behaviour that makes someone else feel controlled and fearful is never OK. Everyone in a family should feel safe and nurtured.

A healthy relationship is supportive, trusting and warm. But in some relationships, one person uses power and fear to control the other. These relationships are emotionally abusive and can become extremely unsafe.

People in violent relationships feel frightened. They feel as though they cannot be themselves because their actions, thoughts and choices are determined by the person who is controlling them.

Violence at home makes children feel scared and alone. It can affect the way they behave and lead to problems at school or with their friends.

No one should be frightened or scared by someone in their family.

This page was last reviewed on 7 April 2019.