Anyone can experience domestic and family violence regardless of:
- religion or
- socio-economic status.
People who are vulnerable or dependent on others are at high risk. It is hard for people with a disbaility to escape and there are other barriers.
Your abuser could be a spouse, partner, carer, parent, child, family member or someone else who lives with you.
Violence against any person is unacceptable.
Domestic and family violence is not your fault. It is not ok and it is against the law.
At DVCS we support everyone affected by domestic and family violence. If you, or someone you know, are experiencing domestic and family violence we are here to help and we encourage you to contact us.
Or if you don’t know what you are feeling and experiencing is domestic or family violence, we would still like to talk to you to see if we can help you.
What is domestic and family violence
Domestic and family violence is when someone uses violence, threats, force or intimidation to control a family member, partner or former partner.
It does not have to occur in the home or between people who are living together.
The violence is intentional and often increases and gets worse the longer the relationship goes on.
For people with disabilities, domestic and family violence can include lots of different types of abuse:
- Being called names or being put down, denying access to ‘small pleasures’, threatening to be put in a home.
- Withholding medication, personal (hygiene) or medical care, using medication to sedate, removing accessibility devices, receiving your pension without providing the care.
- Using your money, property or illegally forcing you to change your will or sign documents, using a power of attorney to withhold money or misuse finances, not allowing you to keep or carry your own money.
- Hitting, slapping, pushing or using restraints, providing care in a rough or cruel manner.
- Not allowing you to contact your family, friends or services.
- Any sexual activity you do not consent to or withholding care in exchange for sexual favours.
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. You might:
- feel unsafe in your home
- blame yourself for the abuse
- 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.
Remember these things
If you are worried you, or someone close to you, is being abused please remember:
- Threats, and physical and sexual violence are all illegal.
- The abuser might blame you, or make you feel responsible, ashamed or guilty.
- You are not to blame for someone else’s actions. What they have done is wrong. It is not your fault and it is against the law.
- The ACT law offers the same protection to people with a disability as it does to any other victim of domestic and family violence.
- 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. If you live outside the ACT please call 1800RESPECT.
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