In an emergency call 000
For advice/information call DV Connect
1800 811 811 (Women) 1800 600 636 (Men)


Domestic and family violence

Anyone can experience domestic and family violence. It happens across communities, ages, cultures and sexes.

What is domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence occurs when someone who has a close personal relationship with you makes you feel afraid, powerless, or unsafe. It can be physical, but can also be emotional and psychological. Non-physical forms of abuse can be just as damaging as physical assaults. If you feel disrespected, unable to be yourself, afraid to disagree, or negotiate for what you want, this may be a sign of abuse. Forms of abuse and violence can include:

  • Physical harm – threats of self/physical harm, smashing things, hurting pets
  • Emotional and psychological abuse – humiliation, put-downs and blaming
  • Financial abuse – strict or unfair control of money
  • Verbal abuse – name-calling, yelling
  • Social abuse – controlling where you go and who you see
  • Sexual abuse – and rape
  • Stalking – following, making excessive phone calls, texts or emails
  • Spiritual or cultural abuse – controlling practices or choices

If you are experiencing abuse or violence it is not your fault. It is the abuser who is responsible.

Deciding to leave a violent relationship is a difficult decision and requires careful planning and support. Everyone has the right to respectful, loving relationships and no one should live in fear.

  • Find supportive friends – talk to someone you trust. Do not try to cope alone.
  • Contact a support group – they can offer you direct help through shared experiences.
  • Make a safety plan – include emergency numbers, pack clothing/toiletries, important documents, medication etc in case you have to escape quickly.
  • Contact the police – when you decide to leave – the police can be on standby when you leave to ensure your safety or if you need to return to collect possessions later on.
  • See a doctor – if you are feeling anxious or depressed. Consider talking to a counsellor/psychologist about how the experience has affected you.
  • Recognise your strengths – to create a more positive life. Your skills and abilities helped you leave an abusive relationship and are signs of your capability under intense pressure.

If you need immediate help call 000.

It is important to remember that there is help out there. Below are some resources on how you, or someone you know, can get assistance and support through domestic and family violence. For specific help for men and women or state-specific help, please see our tool kit below.

Call 000 if you are in danger

For Crisis Support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or via text nightly (6pm-midnight AEDT) on 0477 13 11 14

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