In your family
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 'When my parents treated me like shit I thought it was me, like I was stupid and not good enough, I was nothing. But it isn't my fault, parents have got no right to hurt you that bad, they're supposed to care for you.'  


What is this happening


 You're totally not to blame if you or someone else is being abused. You can't be blamed for how someone else behaves. The blame for the abuse lies with the person who is doing it. Keep in mind that:
  • The person who is doing the abuse knows what they're doing is wrong (even if they act like they don't know).
  • They don't have to act this way.
  • There are no excuses for treating someone else badly.
  • Being drunk or angry is no excuse for hurting someone else.
Often the person who is the target of the abuse is blamed for it. You may have heard people say things like 'she asks for it' or 'why does she put up with it?' But for the person being abused, it's very difficult to know how to handle it.

Remember . . .

Any form of abuse is wrong. Physical and sexual abuse, and threats to hurt another person, are against the law, and the person can be charged by police with a criminal offence.

There are lots of different ways of explaining why people act in an abusive way.
  • They always want to get their own way without having to compromise.
  • They blame other people for their own problems and behaviour.
  • They get lots of attention from family members who try to keep them calm.
  • They want to hurt or humiliate someone else.
  • They have very traditional attitudes about what it means to be male and female. They think that men have to be the 'boss' of the household, and that the woman should obey the man.
  • With sexual abuse, they want to hurt or humiliate someone else, or to use them for their own sexual desires, without caring what the other person wants.
Remember that abuse happens in all kinds of families - rich and poor, religious and not-religious, Australian-born and migrant families. It is common - see Facts or download a four-page fact sheet (pdf). See also FAQs - Domestic VIolence or FAQs - Sexual Abuse

 'My dad always was yelling at mum and ordering her around. I used to think it was her fault cos she was weak and let him do it. Now I'm older I can see how hard it would be for her. He wears her down and intimidates her into doing things, and if she stands up to him he really makes her pay.'  

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