What is Family Violence?


man walks away after threatening wife with family violence .

According to section 64 of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353), “family violence” is defined as follows:

  • Wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt;
  • Causing hurt to a family member by such act which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt;
  • Wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his will; or
  • Causing continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.


The following are examples of acts of family violence (the list is not exhaustive):


Psychological abuse

  • Threatening the person or threatening to take away something that is important to them;
  • Insulting or humiliating a person;
  • Screaming or harassing a person;
  • Intimating or mocking a person;
  • Emotional blackmail;
  • Demeaning a person in private or in public;
  • Hostility including isolating or ignoring a person;
  • Controlling a person (emotionally or physically);
  • Confining a person within a place or stopping a person from going anywhere.


Physical abuse

  • Physical acts such as slapping, punching, pinching, kicking, choking, pushing, bruising or hitting a person with objects;
  • Deprivation or denial of one’s basic needs such as food, water, sleep, shelter or medicine;
  • Sexual abuse like forcing one to do something sexual without one’s consent.