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24/7 Crisis Line   ACT (02) 6280 0900

Other States & Territories 1800 RESPECT

Who Does It Affect:

Quick Escape

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service acknowledges the Aboriginal people are the traditional custodians of the land we live and work on. We recognise their ongoing contribution to Australian culture and pay our respect to Elders, past and present. We respectfully acknowledge the distinct rights and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Family violence is when someone close to you uses violence, abuse or controlling behaviours. It could be your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, father or mother, brother or sister or your extended family. The abuse might be physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual or financial.

Violence against any person is unacceptable. Family violence is not your fault and it is never ok.

DVCS recognises the uniqueness of our First People’s cultural experience including kinship and community and the impacts of colonisation and dispossession. Our service has made a commitment to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in a culturally sensitive, respectful way.

We understand that everyone’s situation is different, and there is no “one size fits all” approach and that relationships are very complex. We do not pressure people to leave. We do not pressure them to call police or involve the courts. We understand that you might not want to leave the support of your family or community; and your family might need your support. DVCS supports people based on where they are at in order to assist with their safety.

We support all members of the family, to help promote safety, including men who use violence. We come from a non-judgmental, non-blaming position.

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing domestic and family violence we are here to help and we encourage you to contact us. If you call you will speak to a specially trained crisis counsellor who understands family violence.

DVCS prioritises the safety and wellbeing of children as the most vulnerable members of the family.  As a result there are times when we will consider making a notification to Child Youth and Protection Services (CYPS).

However, in recognition of the effects of colonization and dispossession and the disproportionately high rate of removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, any decision to report to the CYPS in regard to a family who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander will only be made following a referral to, and consideration by, a senior member of DVCS staff.  DVCS will take into consideration whether the incident directly involved the child, children or young person and if you are engaging in safety supports with DVCS.   We are happy to discuss these concerns if you would like more information.  DVCS does not require a caller to identify who they are.

What is family violence

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.

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.

Your feelings

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 using violence 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 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; 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.

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