Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

Family violence

Family violence affects many people’s lives. It is also known as domestic violence.

When a family member is violent towards you they can be violent in different ways. The violence might be physical, sexual, emotional or psychological.

If you are experiencing violence in your home, it can affect every aspect of your life. It can cause physical injuries and affect your mental wellbeing. You may feel scared and alone.

Abuse is never OK, and neither is feeling scared in your own home. If you are feeling scared or being abused, there are many people available to help you.

The first thing to do is to tell someone. This can be hard. Sometimes it’s easier to tell someone you don’t know. You could tell a friend, health professional, the police or a support agency.

The government has introduced new employment rights for people who have experienced family violence.


Phone 111 for the police if you are in immediate danger, or see the list of support lines below for other local organisations that can help.

Support lines

The following links offer help and resources for people who are affected by family violence, people whose violent behaviour is affecting others, and people who are worried about friends and family.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2019.

See also:

Emotional & physical abuse

Referral & support agencies – assault

Page reference: 47976

Review key: HIFAM-47976