Everyone has right to feel safe in their relationships and in their homes.
On this page you will find information about domestic and family violence and information about how to support someone experiencing this form of violence.
About Domestic and Family Violence(Back to top)
Domestic and family violence is any form of controlling or abusive behaviour used against another person in a household, and 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.
Supporting Someone Experiencing Violence(Back to top)
You may be concerned about a friend or family member who might be experiencing violence in their home. The best thing you can do is to keep in contact—via phone, social media or text, and let them know that they are not alone.
Other tips to keep in mind are:
- Believe them and take their fears seriously;
- Never blame the person experiencing violence for what has happened to them;
- Don’t make excuses for the person who has hurt them;
- Support them whenever they need to talk;
- Be part of their safety plan: know the code words or signals if they need to escape;
- Help in practical ways, e.g. by providing them with transport, a phone or a place to escape to;
- Call 000 at any time if they are in immediate danger.
For more information and support about assisting someone experiencing domestic and family violence, visit the 1800 RESPECT website.
Talking to Men about their Behaviour(Back to top)
National crime reports demonstrate that the majority of violence against women in Australia is at the hands of men. You may be concerned that a man you care about is using violence in their home.
If you feel that his family or partner is in immediate danger ring 000.
If you want to support him in changing his behaviour and it is safe for you to do so, MensLine Australia provides some simple tips on how to talk to him:
- Choose the right time and place to talk. Approach him when he is calm and offer help.
- Be direct and clear about what you have seen and what worries you.
- Remind him you care about him.
- Don’t fight with him or try to force him to do anything, or to see things your way. This can make things more dangerous for her. Keep the lines of communication open so you can be an influence on his thinking.
- Tell him his behaviour is his responsibility, especially if he continually tries to blame her.
- Remind him that there is hope and he can change, that there is help available.
- Avoid making judgemental comments about him as a person.
- Tell him the violence needs to stop.
- Remind him that violence and control does not make his family safe.
For more advice on how to talk to your friend or tips on how to support their partner, you can call MensLine, 1300 78 99 78, or visit their website.