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  • Karen Hutchinson

Family Harm

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Written by Karen Hutchinson - Family Safety Services Clinical Lead


Family harm and family violence are different names for the same experiences. But not all family harm can be easily seen or identified, even for the victims. Behaviours set in love and protection can feel wonderful and like you may be in a great relationship; but then there are times when those same behaviours can give a different feeling. Such as if your will is being over ridden by your partner or if you have a sense of fear about speaking up for yourself against decisions that are being made.


It pays to check in with yourself by asking ‘Is one of us in fear of the others mood or reaction or silences’? ‘Is one of us using these behaviours to control the other one somehow’? ‘Is one of us not really aware of the impact of the behaviour on the other and does it feel safe to be discussed’?


Sometimes the sense of fear of nervousness can mean the relationship has an imbalance in power. When there is an imbalance in power, the one with the power is always in charge even they act like you are because they have the final say on all meaningful decisions.

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