Get help now
There are organisations that specialise in domestic violence situations
- Lifeline, 24 hour telephone crisis support – confidential, professional and welcoming for all religions, ages, genders, and sexual orientation. For crisis support call 13 11 14.
- 1800RESPECT website – National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family violence Counselling Service.
- Translating and Interpreting service – free telephone or onsite interpreters in your own language. Available 24 hours every day of the year. Call 131 450
Domestic violence is a crime
Any form of controlling or abusive behaviour used against another person in a household is considered to be domestic or family violence. It can include:
- Physical assault – including rough handling, hitting or causing pain
- Psychological and emotional abuse – including insulting or degrading comments
- Sexual assault – including making the victim do things they don’t want to do
- Threatening to harm loved ones, children or pets
- Financial abuse – keeping money and other resources from a partner
- Social abuse – not allowing someone to see family or friends
- Stalking – being followed or watched by an individual, both in person or on social media
- Harassment – including phone calls, text messages and social media comments
- Restrictions on practicing faith or applying spiritual intimidation
- Breaching an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order
If you are in an emergency situation, call 000 immediately.
Remember, the victim is never to blame for another person’s violence
About domestic violence
What to look for
- The offender is a relative or someone else the victim loves
- The victim gets blamed for the offender’s actions
- The offender threatens the victim to stop the victim from leaving
- Even though the abusive behaviour happens at home, it’s still a crime
- It’s hard for the victim to escape the abuse, as the victim often depends on the offender and/or is emotionally connected to them
A pattern of behaviour usually forms, which allows the offender to control a family member or loved one:
- The abuse can happen once, a few times over a long period, or increase over time
- Abuse is more likely when the offender is stressed, drunk or drug affected
- Offenders often prevent victims from getting help from friends or social networks (as it limits their control)
- Victims put up with the abuse, hoping things will improve
- Victims can be afraid of ending the relationship, due to physical, financial and social risks
How children are affected
Children can be deeply affected by family and domestic violence – even when the abuse isn’t directed at them personally.
In households where abuse occurs, children are at risk of psychological harm. They can suffer the same sense of powerlessness, despair and emotional distress as the victim, even if they never see the abuse.
For people experiencing abuse from family members, it’s important to have a safety plan. This may require help from a friend or another family member. Here are some ideas:
- Contact a support service (see list below) for help with a detailed safety plan
- Contact a trusted friend or family member if feeling unsafe
- Write down ideas of things you can do and places you can go to when feeling unsafe
- Update the safety plan if circumstances change – such as moving or ending a relationship
- Talk to the support services listed below for professional, understanding advice what you may be able to do
Keep your safety plan hidden and only share it with the friend/s or family member you trust
Download Daisy: a domestic violence help app
Daisy is a phone app that provides information about support services in the local area of people experiencing domestic abuse. It also includes safety features to protect the privacy of people using the service.
This is a free app that was developed by 1800RESPECT – The National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service.