Skip to Content
Family Violence

Family Violence

Family Violence Definitions and Facts


Family violence

Family violence refers to violence between family members such as between partners, siblings, parent and child, and other relatives. It is any behaviour that is physically, sexually, emotionally, financially or psychologically abusive, or threatening. It is behaviour that controls or dominates a family member and makes them fearful.

Gender equality

Gender equality means that women and men have equal value,  treatment and opportunities in society.

Gender equity

Gender equity means making sure that resources, opportunities and decision-making is fair to both men and women. This may result in more resources, opportunities or power of decision-making given to women. Gender equity are the things that we do to achieve gender equality.

Gender stereotypes

Gender stereotypes are those expectations held by our society about how men and women should behave in public and private life.

Primary prevention

Primary prevention includes practices that are used to prevent violence against women before it occurs in the first place. Promoting equality and respect between women and men is a key way to prevent violence against women.


Respect means considering another person’s feelings, wishes and rights.

Secondary prevention

Secondary prevention includes actions that are used to intervene early when there are early signs of violent behaviour.

Social norms

Social norms are attitudes held in our society about appropriate and expected behaviour of particular individuals and groups.

Tertiary prevention

Tertiary prevention includes support and treatment for individuals who have experienced violence.

Violence against women

Violence against women is any act of violence that causes harm or suffering to women, including threats or deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.

For more information, see the family violence fact sheets (below) and the interfaith collaboration on preventing family violence section of this website.

Fact sheets

The purpose of the facts sheets is primarily to provide faith and spiritual leaders with information about family violence, its causes and its impacts on the community, but anyone can use them as they need to.

The fact sheets will guide faith and spiritual leaders to gain a greater understanding of the issue and the causes that need to be addressed if we want to prevent violence against women.

See the interfaith collaboration on preventing family violence section of this website for information on how to use these fact sheets in the community.

Fact Sheets in other Languages