Family and domestic violence support

Where to get help

In case of immediate danger call 000 for police assistance.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, go to 1800RESPECT or phone 1800 737 732. Whatever your situation, it is important to know that help and support are available.

What is domestic and family violence?

  • Domestic and family violence happens when one person in a relationship hurts another or makes them feel unsafe
  • It can happen in any kind of relationship — not just with husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends (intimate partners)
  • Abuse doesn't have to involve hurt to your body, or physical violence, to be domestic or family violence

What forms can domestic and family violence take?

It is never OK for someone in a relationship to:

  • Hit, kick, and do other things that hurt your body
  • Touch you in ways or places you don’t want to be touched
  • Force you to have sex or do sexual things
  • Say and do things that make you feel scared or unsafe
  • Take your money or use money to make your life hard
  • Damage walls, parts of your home, or your things
  • Tell you they will hurt you, your children, your pets, or people you care about
  • Say they will hurt themselves if you try to leave
  • Share private photos or videos of you online without your permission
  • Stop you from following your religion or cultural practices
  • Cut you off from friends or family
  • Refuse to provide essential care and support for you if they are your parent, guardian, carer, or paid support person
  • Make looking after a baby hard by not letting you feed or settle your baby
  • Scare you by following you, harassing you, or refusing to leave you alone
  • Use the legal system to bully or intimidate you
  • Stop you from making decisions about whether or not to have a baby, or other reproductive issues
  • Stop you from having medicine you need or from seeing a doctor
  • Give you medicine you don't need or more medicine than you need

These are only some things that domestic and family violence may involve. There are many others. If anyone is making you feel scared, worried or unsafe, it is OK to ask for help. 

Who is affected by domestic and family violence?

Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone — that is, a person from any country, religion, sexuality, gender, social background or culture.

It can also happen in any relationship, including with:

  • Boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands or wives
  • Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-partners, ex-husbands or ex-wives
  • Carers or paid support workers
  • Parents, guardians or other family members
  • Adult children
  • Other people you live with or see often, whether inside or outside the home

None of these people has the right to hurt you or make you live in fear.

Related links

Children’s safety

Family violence and family law

Family Violence Law Help

Family violence orders

Next steps

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, go to 1800RESPECT or phone 1800 737 732.

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