Domestic & Family Violence

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Domestic violence, sometimes called family violence, is against the law . You have the right to feel safe at home and you should never have to see or experience it. It is okay to talk to someone about it.

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What is domestic/family violence?

Domestic violence, sometimes called family violence, is when someone you are in a relationship with threatens you or does something to harm you. Domestic violence is not just physical violence.

There are a lot of ways domestic violence can happen, some common examples include:

  • physical assault: punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, choking, or using weapons;
  • sexual assault: being forced to have sex or do sexual activities, either by watching or participating;
  • emotional abuse or intimidation:  making you feel worthless, criticising your personality, your looks, the way you dress, constantly putting you down, threatening to hurt you, your children, or your pets;
  • economic abuse: taking control of the money and property, forcing you to hand over your money, selling your property without consent, not letting you have a say in how it is spent;
  • threatening, coercing or intimidating you: threats of violence or assault, stalking or harassing phone calls; or
  • threatening to do any of these things.

Domestic violence can be committed by your spouse, partner or ex-partner. For example, violence between your mum and dad or, if you are over 16, violence between you and your partner.  

Domestic violence can happen to you, or someone else in your family, e.g. violence between your parents. If you see it happening to someone else in your family you should still report it.

If you witness, overhear or are exposed to domestic violence, this could also be child abuse. You have the right to be safe from all types of abuse. See the Child Abuse Fact Sheet for more information.

What can I do?

Domestic/family violence is unacceptable and if you see it or it happens to you, please report it.  You have a right to be safe from this violence.

Tell someone

If you or anyone else is in immediate danger of being hurt, call the Police on 000.

If you feel unsafe or are in danger you should also call the government’s 24 Hour Family Violence Response Referral Line on 1800 633 937. They offer an information and referral service that can help you access information, counselling and other support services.

If you feel unsafe in your home because of the violence that is happening, it is important to talk to someone. If you do not speak to anyone, or report what is happening, then no one will know what is going on and they can’t help you.  You could talk to an adult you trust and feel comfortable with, like a family friend or your teacher. Below is a list of important contacts you can call if you need to talk to someone else.

What will happen if I report domestic violence?

If you call the Police or the Safe at Home Line, information you give is kept confidential – the person who is causing the violence will not be told that you have contacted them. The Police or the authorities may investigate what is happening. If they are worried about your safety, a court order can be made preventing the person from hurting you, such as a Family Violence Order (FVO).

Who can I talk to about domestic violence?


  • 1800RESPECT


(National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service)

Call 1800 737 732 or visit

They provide 24 hour counselling, support and referral for anyone whose life has been impacted by sexual, domestic or family violence.


  • Family Violence Counselling and Support Services


Call 1800 633 937 (24 Hour) or 1800 608 122

They offer specialised counselling services to assist children, young people and adults affected by family violence. You can find out more about the services they offer here:

You can make an appointment with a Family Violence Counsellor by calling one of the numbers below between 9am and 5pm on weekdays:


North: 1800 608 122

North West: (03) 6477 7595

South: (03) 6166 0440

If you’re under 25 and have some questions about reporting domestic violence, you can get help here. We won’t tell anyone, including your parents or other members of your family.


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