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What is domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence is more than just physical violence.

It is when one person in a relationship uses violence or abuse to control the other person and is usually an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner through fear.

Visit the Domestic and Family Violence Portal to find out more.

Who is affected

Domestic and family violence occurs among people of all ages, education, cultural and racial groups, sexuality and socioeconomic status. It can occur between people in spousal, intimate personal, family or informal care relationships.

“While men can be victims, the majority of people who experience this kind of violence are women. In Australia, 1 in 6 women has experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a current or former partner and 1 in 16 men has experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a current or former partner (Personal Safety Survey, 2016).”

Given how prevalent it is, it’s likely most people know someone—either in their community, sporting club, school or workplace—who has experienced abuse.

Why get involved

While most people will say they don’t condone domestic and family violence or other forms of violence, as long as we continue to excuse or minimise abuse, turn a blind eye or believe the victim is to blame, it will continue.

We can all play a role in changing the culture and attitudes that underpin domestic and family violence in our community.

Where to find help

Visit the Domestic and Family Violence Portal to find out more about:

  • what is domestic and family violence
  • information for different situations
  • how you can stay safe
  • where you can find help
  • how you can help someone else
  • legal help
  • domestic and family violence helplines
  • finding local support.

Useful websites

Helplines

  • In an emergency call the police on Triple Zero (000)
  • DVConnect Womensline
    Phone 1800 811 811 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • DVConnect Mensline
    Phone 1800 600 636 (9am to 12 midnight, 7 days)
  • 1800RESPECT
    Phone 1800 737 732 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Sexual Assault Helpline
    Phone 1800 010 120 (7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days)
  • Kids Helpline
    Phone 1800 551 800 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Lifeline
    Phone 13 11 14 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • Find local support.