Family violence is when an adult bullies, hurts and scares the other people in the family.
A home is meant to be a place where you and all your family feel safe and loved. If you don’t feel safe at home, or if you’re worried that an adult might hurt you or someone else, something's not okay.
Are any of these things happening at your place?:
- arguments that turn into really bad fights
- adults yelling, swearing and saying mean things to each other
- an adult getting pushed, punched, hit or kicked
- an adult threatening to hurt or kill another person
- furniture, windows and other things in the house getting broken or smashed
- your pets getting hurt
- you, or your brothers and sisters, feeling scared or getting hurt
If this is happening, you and your family need help. Violence at home can hurt everyone – you might hear or see something that frightens you, feel worried about one of your family getting hurt, or even get caught up in the middle of the fight. This sort of stuff isn't OK – and if it’s happening in your home, you and your family need support to change things for the better, and to make your home a violence-free zone.
What can you do?
Don’t keep it a secret! If you’re not feeling safe in your home, you’ve got the right to tell someone. You could try talking to a caring adult like a teacher, neighbour, grandparent, or a friend’s parent about what’s happening at home and how you feel about it. Give us a call at 0800 What’s Up – we can support you over the phone and, if you like, we can put you in touch with other people who can help.
Remember, what’s happening is not your fault! An adult’s behaviour is their own choice and you can’t change the way they choose to behave. Even if an adult is angry, they can choose how they express their anger. Kids are never, ever to blame for domestic violence.
What to do in an emergency
If things get really bad, it’s really important you, and your brothers and sisters, don’t get hurt:
- don’t get in the middle – stay away from the fighting
- call the police on 111
- go and get help from an adult you trust, or hide in a safe place