Violence against women is not always as obvious as a slap in the face. The definition used by the United Nations (1993) includes acts that physically, sexually or psychologically harm women. This can include acts that threaten women, pressure them to do things against their will or limit their freedom. Putting it simply, violence is anything that frightens, intimidates or diminishes someone.

How many of these subtle forms of violence have you witnessed or experienced?

Does your partner: X
1. Often tell you what you should wear or criticise the way you look  
2. Put you down or tell you you're useless or hopeless  
3. Not speak to you for hours (or days)  
4. Have very strong views about the things that women should and shouldn't do  
5. Check your phone to see who's been ringing you  
6. Share your sexts with people without your permission  
7. Punch walls or slam doors to scare you  
8. Play mind games, saying things happened, when they didn't (or vice versa)  
9. Excuse abusive behaviour by saying that it was just a joke  
10. Tell you who you're allowed (or not allowed) to see  
11. Not take your concerns seriously  
12. Call you crazy or stupid  
13. Not pass on messages to you  
14. Refuse to discuss important issues and either sulk or storm out  
15. Hurt your pets  
16. Blame you for problems in the relationship  
17. Make almost all of the big decisions about where you both go and what you do  
18. Promise the abuse will never happen again, but never live up to that promise  
19. Claim they have no control over their behaviour  
20. Make sexist statements  
21. Backstab you or tell other people stuff that's private   
22. Not really appreciate your needs  
23. Humiliate you in front of others  
24. Refuse to participate in activities you want to do  
25. Smash things to intimidate you  
26. Make sick comments about hitting or raping people  
27. Deliberately ignore you  
28. Threaten to post nude or semi-nude photos/videos of you if you ever break up  
29. Make things really uncomfortable so that friends don't want to visit  
30. Escalate small issues quickly into big arguments  
31. Make fun of, or not allow you to practice your cultural traditions or religion  
32. Blame alcohol or drugs for abusive behaviour  
33. Force you to have sex or perform sexual acts that you are not 100% okay with  
34. Treat women differently to the way they treat men  
35. Monitor where you go and who you see  
36. Yell at you for buying things, but spend money on whatever they want  
37. Act aggressively with you in private then act nicely around other people  
38. Constantly break promises  
39. Act as though he is a ticking time bomb that could explode at any moment  
40. Harass you with dozens of phone calls or texts in a day  
41. Take it for granted that they make all the big decisions  
42. Threaten to hurt himself if you leave him  
43. Intimidate you by keeping weapons close by  
44. Tell you that you caused him to be violent  
45. Pressure you to watch porn, even though you don't want to watch it  
46. Show you rape videos or photos  
47. Tell you you're spending too much time with your friends or family  
48. Order you to do things   
49. Break or throw out things that belong to you  
50. Threaten you  

If you experience any of these behaviours, or know someone experiencing any of these, you need to talk to someone now about getting safe and getting support. You have a right to a better life than this. 


If you’re having problems with a friend, partner or family member or you would just like to talk to someone about where to 'draw the line' call 1800MYLINE (1800 695 463) or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

You may also want to have a read of our articles on bystander action and articles on relationships for what’s crossing the line...