Domestic violence

If someone is in immediate danger, call 000.

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If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit  (or keep reading to find other organisations that can offer support.)

What is domestic violence?

The term ‘domestic violence’ refers to interpersonal violence which takes place in domestic settings, family relationships, and intimate relationships, and is most commonly applied to violence by a man to his wife, female, sexual partner or ex-partner. However, ‘domestic violence’ is used also to refer to violence between same sex sexual partners, among family members and by women against male partners. 
Domestic violence can take many different forms and can include: 
  • Fear – the victim lives in constant fear of the abusive behaviour of their spouse or partner 
  • Verbal abuse – includes screaming, shouting and name calling
  • Physical abuse – includes pushing, hitting, slapping or threats of physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse – behaviour that aims to undermine a person’s self-worth and independence
  • Social abuse – isolating the victim from family and friends
  • Economic abuse – the victim is kept financially dependent on their spouse or partner
  • Sexual abuse – includes a range of unwanted sexual behaviours
  • Controlling behaviour – every aspect of the victim’s life is controlled including their personal decisions
  • Spiritual abuse – victim’s religion, cultural beliefs and values are ridiculed and their spirituality is manipulated to keep them feeling powerless
  • Separation violence – the victim continues to be harassed after they have left their spouse or partner
  • Stalking and intimidation – the victim is followed and harassed and made to feel inadequate. This can include damage to personal possessions or persistent unwelcome phone calls 

If you have been subject to any forms of abuse you are encouraged to seek help from the external agencies listed below. 

Where can I get help for myself or someone I know?

If someone is in immediate danger, call 000

National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 
Are you experiencing sexual assault or domestic and family violence? Or are you seeking to support someone who is? The National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service can help.
1800 737 732 (Respect)
Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line
The Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria (SACL) is a state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for victim/survivors of both past and recent sexual assault.
1800 806 292
Men’s Referral Service
The Men’s Referral Service takes calls from Australian men dealing with family and domestic violence matters. If your behaviour has brought you into contact with the police or courts and you’re facing issues such as an intervention order, behaviour change, anger management, access or custody, then it’s time you gave us a call.
1800 065 973
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
13 11 14
Beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
1300 22 4636
Child Protection Crisis Line
In Victoria, if you suspect a case of child abuse or are mandated to report abuse, then you can contact Child Protection for advice.
13 12 78
Relationships Australia
Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. We aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships.
1300 364 277
Support for Australian men anywhere, any time. 1300 78 99 78