Physical abuse is where somebody deliberately hurts another person. This form of abuse can occur between partners in the case of domestic violence or between other family members.

The physical abuser inflicts force and pain on the victim to cause fear and intimidation. The scope of physical abuse is wide ranging and covers many different types of physical behaviour including but not limited to: pushing and shoving; slapping; punching; kicking; scratching; biting; choking; burning or throwing objects.

Physical abuse may begin in a subtle or minor way, and escalate gradually over time.  Physical abuse is illegal and can have a catastrophic effect on the victim, leading to serious injury or even death. It is vital to seek help if you or someone that you know is being physically abused.


The signs and symptoms of physical abuse can be physical and/or behavioural in nature.

Physical signs include bruising, broken bones, black eyes, chipped teeth or signs of traumatic hair loss. Bruising to the arms may be bilateral, indicating that the victim has been restrained or shaken. Bruises may be multi-coloured, suggesting that they were received over a course of time.

Other injuries may appear to be at different healing stages or it may be obvious that an injury has not received medical attention.

Behavioural signs may involve a person having no explanation or an implausible explanation for an injury. Other family members may have contradicting opinions on how the injury occurred. The victim may also delay or avoid seeking medical help for an injury.

Observing the interactions between the abuser and the victim may identify a problem if the behaviour seems forced or tense. Less specific signs can also include depression, anxiety and low self-esteem in the victim.


A recent publication by the Australian Health and Welfare Institute cites violence within the family as a serious health and welfare issue. It can occur throughout all sections of society, with all ages and socioeconomic groups being affected. Statistics show that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 16 men experience some form of physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a current or former partner. In children below the age of 15, the figures given are 1 in 6 girls and 1 in 9 boys.

Physical abuse is a significant cause of homelessness, and in women between the ages of 25-44, is the leading risk factor for illness, disability and death.


There is no single or specific cause of physical abuse but several possible risk factors have been identified that make someone more likely to become an abuser.

Abusers can learn abusive behaviour. If someone has been physically abused themselves or comes from a family where abuse has occurred then this can be a determinant. It’s recognised that certain personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder can make a person more prone to physically abusive behaviour.

There are also a set of behavioural patterns that are common to those who abuse, such as short temper, low self esteem, extreme jealousy, drug or alcohol addiction, fascination with weapons or history of cruelty towards animals.

How can Brain Training Australia™ help me?

At Brain Training Australia we offer Counselling and Psychology services (online) to help our clients who have experienced or been exposed to Physical abuse.

Let us help you. Here is how to get started.

Your first step is to get in contact with us.

If you are ready to get started, then you can book in your First Appointment and get started straight away.

The team at Brain Training Australia recognise the unique qualities of all our clients and will work closely with you to personalise your support.

We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.

Who else can help me?

  • National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732
  • 24-hour Emergency Accommodation helpline on 1800 800 588
  • Safe At Home helpline on 1800 633 937
  • National Violence and Abuse Trauma Counselling and Recovery Service on 1800 FULLSTOP (1800 385 578). They also have a specific line for the LGBTIQA+ community called the Rainbow Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Helpline on 1800 497 212
  • SHE (free and confidential counselling and support) on 6278 9090
  • Sexual Assault Support Services on 6231 1811, or after hours 6231 1817
  • Family Violence Crisis and Support Service on 1800 608 122
  • Bravehearts – Sexual Assault Support for Children on 1800 BRAVE 1
  • Kids Helpline is for young people aged 5 to 25 on 1800 551 800

Don’t go it alone. Please reach out for help by contacting Lifeline on 13 11 14