Behind Closed Doors: Family Violence

Family violence (also called domestic violence or domestic abuse) is not only physical abuse but can be emotional, psychological, sexual,  spiritual, economic or legal abuse.

All forms of family violence are unacceptable and illegal!

In Georgia, family violence covers a range of behaviors committed by a person against a family member. All the behaviors aim to control a family member through fear, and include the following:

  • physical abuse, for example, hitting or pushing
  • psychological or emotional abuse, including calling the person by names and controlling their behavior
  • sexual abuse, including forcing a person to have sex or engage in sexual activity
  • intentionally damaging a family member’s property
  • economic abuse – includes controlling a family member’s bank accounts and money without their consent
  • any other behavior that causes the family member to feel fear for their safety, the safety of another person.

An act of family violence also occurs if a child sees, hears or is around family violence.

Anyone can be affected by family violence, regardless of their gender, age, ability, sexual identity, religion, cultural background, wealth, status or location. Family violence is the leading contributor to preventable disability, illness and death among women aged 15 to 44 years.

The family violence can occur in any familial relationship, for example, between:

  • former or current intimate partners who are or were married or in de facto relationships, in same-sex or heterosexual relationships
  • between parents (or step-parents) and children
  • between siblings
  • between grandchildren, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.
  • ‘family-like’ relationship, for example, in certain cultural traditions or between a person with a disability and their caregiver.

Socially, family violence weakens family and community structures. Victims of family violence may find it difficult to get a job or go to school, or they may turn to crime, alcohol or drugs. Some victims of family violence have committed suicide or lost their lives to violence.

If you are affected by family violence, help and support at Family Kickstart Georgia (FKSG) are available.

FKSG knows that the first step to healing is asking for help and, when that happens, we’ll be there to offer support and guidance. FKSG understand the various dynamics influencing life situations, and are prepared to take on even the most challenging circumstances.

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