How do I know if it's serious?

Family violence is often hidden. Whilst you may not be aware of the violence or abuse that is happening in a family or relationship, there are danger signs that could alert you to the problem.

Separation is the most dangerous time for victims of violence. Women and children are particularly at risk from death and serious violence when a relationship ends.

A victim is in danger of being killed or seriously harmed if the abuser:

  • has caused the victim to be very afraid
  • has recently separated from the victim or a court order has just been issued
  • threatens to kill or commit suicide
  • shows excessive jealousy and controlling behaviour
  • is stalking the victim
  • has previously committed family violence (for example, if it is getting more severe or frequent)
  • isolates the victim(s)
  • has aggravating problems (for example, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health problems)
  • s violent to others (for example, fights with and intimidates others at work or in public, or harms animals).
This page was last reviewed on 13 July 2016.