NZDF

What are the signs of family violence?

People of any ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, gender and sex can experience family violence; it is not limited to any particular group.

Family violence is often hidden. It happens in the home or when no one else is around. People who are violent and those they hurt try to hide the violence because they feel ashamed and guilty. Victims may refuse to talk about it for fear of a reprisal.

People experiencing violence may be:

  • fearful, nervous
  • isolated, don’t want you coming round
  • worried about their partner’s reaction
  • sad, angry
  • lacking in confidence
  • keeping secrets
  • walking on eggshells

Children who are living in violent homes may be:

  • fearful
  • silent and withdrawn
  • aggressive
  • unusually well-behaved

and show:

  • signs of violence such as bruising
  • a sudden change in behaviour

Signs that someone may be violent at home include:

  • threatening looks
  • controlling their partner and children
  • put-downs and criticism
  • physical intimidation
  • making all the decisions
  • jealousy and possessiveness
  • controlling finances.
This page was last reviewed on 13 July 2016.