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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 maintain power and control over another person. It causes the person being abused to live in fear.

Abuse is not always physical — it can be emotional, verbal, sexual, financial or involve threats and controlling behaviours. All forms of violence and abuse should be taken seriously.

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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 19  men has experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a current or former partner (Personal Safety Survey, 2012).

Given how prevalent it is, it’s likely most people know someone — either in their community, neighbourhood, sporting team, workplace or school community — 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.


In an emergency call the police on 000 (triple zero).

DVConnect Womensline - 1800 811 811

24 hours, 7 days a week (Queensland)

DVConnect Mensline - 1800 600 636

9am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week (Queensland)

1800 RESPECT - 1800 737 732

24 hours, 7 days a week (Australia)

Kids Helpline - 1800 551 800

24 hours, 7 days a week (Australia)

Elder Abuse Helpline - 1300 651 192 (Queensland)

07 3867 2525 (rest of Australia)
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

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Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.