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Family and domestic violence occurs when there is a power imbalance within a relationship, whether intimate partner or family member. It is characterised by secrecy, shame and a dwindling sense of self-worth on the part of the victim and deliberate control by the perpetrator including manipulation, enforced isolation, violence, threats and intimidation.

Overwhelmingly, women and their children are abused by their male partners. This abuse reaches beyond violence and physical injuries and includes:

  • Psychological and emotional abuse
  • Control and manipulation
  • Force and intimidation
  • Isolation
  • Threats
  • Sexual violence
  • Financial abuse

Family and domestic violence is experienced by women from all social, economic, religious and cultural backgrounds around the world. It has been reported that more than a third of women over the age of 15 have experienced physical, psychological and/or sexual violence at the hands of a current or former partner. Further, Indigenous women are 45 times more likely to experience family and domestic violence compared to non-Indigenous women and make up 50% of Australia’s domestic and family violence victims. Women with disabilities are assaulted, raped and abused at a rate of at least two times greater than non-disabled women. Domestic and family violence has detrimental physical, psychological and financial consequences for both individuals and the wider community.

Get Help

1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732

Women's Crisis Line: 1800 811 811

Men's Referral Service: 1300 766 491

Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114

Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre: 1800 015 188

Financial Counselling Australia

WIRE (Women's Information and Referral Exchange)

Victorian Department of Health & Human Services

Federal Department of Human Services