Busting the Myths

Domestic and family violence is physical assault

Domestic, family and intimate partner violence includes many elements. Some people might experience many elements, and others might only experience one.

Some other elements include:
• Physical violence: being hit, pushed or spat at
• Verbal, emotional and psychological: 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 friends
• Property damage: punching walls, breaking furniture
• Financial: hindering employment, not disclosing the financial position of the family
• Pets: harming or threatening harm to pets
• Spiritual: forcing you to practice a particular religion, or not allowing you to
• Outing: being outed or threatened to be outed for members of the LGBTIQA+ community
• Medication, information and equipment: people with disabilities might experience medication, information or specialist equipment being withheld or misused
• Tech abuse: receiving threats or being stalked via social media, online or phones and computers and the use of tracking devices

Only people on government benefits or from other countries experience domestic, family or intimate partner violence

Anyone can experience domestic, family or intimate partner violence, the issue does not discriminate. People from all cultures, races, religions, socio-economic backgrounds and of all ages and genders experience domestic, family and intimate partner violence.

Men experience just as much domestic, family or intimate partner violence as women

While men do experience domestic, family and intimate partner violence, the overwhelming majority of those who do experience it are women and children.

People experiencing domestic, family or intimate partner violence can just leave

Sometimes people who experience domestic, family or intimate partner violence don’t know that they are. There are also many things that might stop someone from leaving including fear, lack of financial resources, concerns about breaking up the family, lack of supports or isolation.

Alcohol and drug use causes all domestic, family and intimate partner violence

Certainly, the use of alcohol or illicit drugs can contribute to the severity and frequency of incidents, however they are not the cause.

There are people with alcohol or drug issues who do not use violence in the family.

DVCS Charges for their services

DVCS services are free of charge. Support is provided regardless of a person’s financial situation and we do not means test clients.

Men participating in our Room4Change program who choose to live in one of our residential properties are required to pay rent which is calculated on a sliding scale and negotiated prior to entering the program. Men can participate in this program without choosing to live in one of our properties and in which case there is no cost.

DVCS only supports people for 3 months

DVCS supports people for as long or as little as our clients require and need.

Support is assessed recognising that each person’s situation is different and will vary and is assessed on a case by case basis.

DVCS only supports adult women

DVCS is an inclusive service working with children, young people and adults in the ACT Community. At all times, DVCS will prioritise safety. This means we need to triage clients, similar to emergency departments.

It is not uncommon for us to engage with and provide support to children who were present during an incident of violence. We do this with the consent of their parents.

DVCS reports all incidents of violence to police

We do not report all incidents of violence or controlling behaviour to police.

Not all clients want to engage the police and justice system, and that is OK. It is not a requirement of our service that clients engage police. We respect our clients’ decisions in this regard.

However, if there are circumstances where a person or other people’s safety can be immediately affected, DVCS may be required to call the police.