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What is domestic or family violence?

“Domestic and family violence includes all forms of violence between intimate partners and violence between members of a family, extended family or household.

Intimate partners include people who are married, in de facto relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-partners, gay or straight.”

Domestic violence is never the fault of the victim or survivor.

 Who does domestic violence affect?

Domestic violence can happen to anyone.

Domestic violence is not normal, but it is common in Australia. If you are experiencing domestic violence you are not alone.

What are the signs of a domestic violence relationship?

Every relationship is different, and it is sometimes hard to pick up the warning signs of whether you or someone you know, is in a domestic violence relationship.

How to support someone you think is being abused

Your support can make a big difference to someone who is being abused.

It can be hard to know what to do if you think someone is in a domestic violence relationship. The most important thing that you can do is to make that person feel supported and encouraged. If the person feels isolated and judged then it is less likely that they will seek help and be able to make informed decisions.


Domestic violence can happen to anybody. LGBTIQ people also experience high levels of domestic violence with one in three LGBTI people experiencing domestic violence, which is similar to the rate experienced by non-LGBTIQ women. Research has also found that LGBTIQ people are less likely to classify their abuse as domestic violence and less likely to access support services or find services that meet their needs.

Domestic Violence and Pets

Some women feel that they are unable to leave a domestic violence situation because they are concerned for the wellbeing of their pets. In these cases, the woman may feel that their pet is at risk of being harmed if they leave to seek help or if they do not return home.

Safety on the Computer

Technology can be a positive tool for victims of domestic violence to access support and information. However it can also be used as another way to control or manipulate the victim of an abusive relationship.

Legal Rights and Domestic Violence Orders (DVO)

Everybody has the right to feel safe and live free from violence in their homes and communities. This is a human right and it is the government’s obligation under international law to protect this right. The government has a responsibility to put into place measures to prevent and punish domestic violence to ensure that this human right is preserved.

Domestic violence, including assaults, threats, stalking and sexual assault are all a criminal offence. It is against the law to assault or force someone else to have sex with you, even if you are married.