Domestic and family violence occurs across all cultures, races, ages, genders, religions and socio-economic groups, but the majority of those who experience domestic and family violence are women. In the ACT, around 7,700 women experience physical, sexual and threats of physical and sexual violence a year and a current or former partner is most likely to be the person using these behaviours. (ABS 2017)
Violence against women is a fundamental violation of human rights. It is not Ok. It is not your fault. And it is against the law.
At DVCS our vision is for a world free from violence and abuse. We provide support services to assist with safety.
We understand that everyone’s situation is different, and there is no “one size fits all” approach. We work with people based on where they are at, which can vary from leaving a relationship all the way through to wanting to stay in the relationship but wanting the violence to stop. If someone is in an abusive relationship, the last thing they need is another person coming in and telling them what to do and how to do it. We will provide ideas and options, explain what’s available, and provide information so you can make an informed choice.
Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone, yet it is often overlooked, excused, or denied—especially when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Knowing and acknowledging the signs of domestic and family violence is an important first step to ending it.
What is domestic and family violence
Domestic and family violence is when someone intentionally uses violence, threats, force or intimidation to control or manipulate a family member, partner or former partner. It does not have to occur within the home or between people who are living together.
The violence is intentional and systematic and often increases in frequency and severity the longer the relationship goes on. It is about power and control and it is intended to cause fear.
Domestic and family violence can include lots of different types of abuse:
- physical violence: being hit, pushed or spat at
- verbal, emotional and psychological abuse: being called names or being put down, threatening suicide or harm/damage
- sexual abuse: unwanted sexual advances, forced sex, filming/photographing someone without their consent
- isolation: hindering contact with family and/or friends
- property damage: punching walls, breaking furniture
- financial: hindering employment, not disclosing the financial position of the family
- pets: harm towards or threatening harm towards pets
- tech abuse: receiving threats or being stalked via social media, online or phones and computers, and the use of tracking devices.
There are many signs of an abusive relationship. You might feel you have done something wrong, or something to cause the violence or abuse. This is not true. Violence and abuse is never ok. It is against the law. You might:
- blame yourself for the violence
- feel like you’re walking on egg shells
- jump at every little sound
- feel like you’re waiting for an explosion
- feel you have to ask permission to do anything or spend money
- wonder what the neighbours think
- take drugs or alcohol to cope.
Remember these things
If you are worried you, or someone close to you needs support please remember:
- Threats, stalking and physical and sexual violence are all illegal.
- The person being violent might try to blame you, or try to make you feel responsible, ashamed or guilty.
- You are not to blame for someone else’s controlling behaviours. What they have done is wrong. It is not your fault and it is against the law.
- DVCS is here to provide help and support during and after crisis situations.
- Our supporting someone page contains advice on what you can do to help someone you are worried about.
Need to talk?
If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening situation please call the police on 000.
To access our crisis intervention services call our 24/7 crisis telephone line 02 6280 0900. If it isn’t urgent another contact option is to email firstname.lastname@example.org; this email is only monitored during business hours. You are welcome to call us reverse charges.
We do not make any sound recordings of our conversations. You do not need to give us your name, but if you do we make notes that we spoke to you. If you are unsure, please let us know at the start of the call and we can tell you about our confidentiality policy.
Links and related information