Important information - COVID-19 update.

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Domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence is a crime and council takes a stand against it. Domestic and family violence includes any form of controlling or abusive behaviour from spouse or intimate partner, an ex-partner, or a family member.

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If you are in immediate danger, call Triple 000.


For more information on where to get help please visit:

Domestic and family 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 rape or making the person do things they don’t want to do
  • Threatening to harm others including, family members 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 intimidation on the basis of culture or religion
  • Breaching an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order 

If you are in an emergency situation, call 000 immediately.

Remember, the person experiencing violence is never to blame for another person’s abusive actions and behaviours.

About domestic and family violence

What to look for

  • The offender is known to the person. A relative, partner or ex-partner.
  • The person experiencing violence often gets blamed for the offender’s actions
  • The offender uses threatening and controlling behaviour and prevents the person from leaving.
  • Even though the abusive behaviour happens at home, and the offender is known to you, the abuse is a crime
  • It can be hard for the person experiencing violence to escape the abusive person, as they are frequently made fearful for their safety and have limited access to financial and social supports.

Typical behaviours

A pattern of behaviour can form, which allows the offender to control a family member or partner or ex partner.

  • The abuse can happen once, a few times over a long period, or increase over time
  • Offenders often prevent people experiencing violence from getting help from friends or social networks (as it limits their control)
  • People 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 and developmental harm. They can suffer the same sense of powerlessness, despair and emotional distress as the person experiencing violence, even if they never see the abuse.

Safety planning

For people experiencing abuse from family members, partners or ex-partners, 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
  • Think about 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 and family violence. 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.

Download Daisy now

Responding to domestic and family violence

Western Sydney Local Health District have developed a series of guides to support the responses of individuals and sectors during and beyond COVID-19. Side 1 of each guide takes a focus on considerations for now, and side 2 takes a focus on being informed and ready for what is needed next for people experiencing domestic and family violence. Supporting people during and beyond COVID-19 is our shared responsibility and no sector can create safety alone.