What is family violence? - Interim FVROs

Logo for FRVO self-help guideFamily violence means:

  • violence, or a threat of violence, by someone towards a family member, or
  • any other behaviour that coerces or controls another family member, or causes them to be fearful.
Family violence is not just physical violence or threats of violence. It can include forms of financial, emotional and psychological abuse.

As this video explains, an application for an FVRO should include details about all forms of family violence that have happened.

Video: Family violence covers more than you think

Physical  violence

  • Assaults and sexual assaults
    Includes assaults, sexual assaults and other sexually abusive behaviour.

  • Other criminal behaviour
    Can include other criminal behaviour such as kidnapping or holding a family member against their will.

Threats, stalking, derogatory remarks

  • Threats
    Can include threats to hurt a family member either in person, in writing or online.

  • Stalking and cyber stalking

  • Publishing intimate images
    Can include threatening to or actually publishing or distributing intimate personal images of a family member.

  • Derogatory remarks
    Can include repeated derogatory remarks such as unwanted or offensive texts.

Damaging your things or hurting pets

  • Damaging your things
    Can include damaging or destroying things that you own, use, or have at your home, no matter who they belong to.

  • Hurting your pets
    Can include killing, hurting or threatening to hurt a family animal or pet.

Withholding financial support

  • Financial independence
    Can include unreasonably not letting you have financial independence.

  • Financial support
    Can include withholding financial support to meet your reasonable living expenses, and those of your children, if you are entirely or mainly dependent on that other person for financial support.

Keeping you from friends, family and culture

  • Family and friends
    Can include keeping you from making or keeping connections with family and friends.

  • Culture
    Can include keeping you from making or keeping connections with your culture.

Dowry abuse

Can include threats, demands, or pressure from your husband or his family, to you or your family, in relation to money or gifts exchanged in return for marriage.

Exposing children to family violence

Includes causing a family member who is a child to be exposed to any of the family violence behaviours listed above.

'Exposed to family violence' can include:  

  • hearing death threats or threats to injure someone 
  • seeing an assault
  • comforting or helping a person who has been assaulted  
  • cleaning up after an assault
  • being present when police or ambulance officers come to a violent incident.

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The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.