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​Domestic violence

Domestic and family violence is a crime and if you have experienced it, there are many ways in which you can receive help.

Domestic and family violence is an abuse of power and can take many forms including physical abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, intimidation, harassment, stalking, sexual assault, financial deprivation and isolation.

The NSW Government's domestic violence website provides practical information to help victims of domestic violence, including: What are my options?, Help with difficult decisions, Legal protection.

Safety and protection

For information on how to protect yourself from the offender, including how to obtain an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), please refer to our Safety and protection webpage.

If your child is at risk call the Community Services (formerly DoCS) Helpline on 132 111.

Some areas of NSW are running a ' Staying Home Leaving Violence' (SHLV) project. which provides support and assistance to women who prefer to remain safely in their own home, without the abusive person. The NSW Government's domestic violence website has contact numbers for the SHLV program in your area. You can also contact the Community Services Domestic Violence Line (Phone 1800 656 463) to see if there is a 'Staying Home Leaving Violence' project in your area.

Reporting domestic violence

Police treat all reports of domestic violence seriously and will respond as quickly as possible.

You may be unsure about reporting domestic violence to the police. There are many reasons why you may not want to speak to the police straight away - you may have fears for your safety, worry about the repercussions of getting police involved or be unsure as to what will happen after you report an incident to the police.

Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLOs) are specialist police officers who can help victims of domestic violence. They are attached to 165 patrols across New South Wales and are specially trained to assist victims of domestic violence. They can give advice about legal avenues, support agencies available which offer alternate accommodation and financial support available. They will go to court with domestic violence victims to assist with applications for AVOs. You can find contact details for your Local Police Station on the NSW Police website.

The NSW Police's domestic violence webpage has information for victims of domestic violence including: What is family and domestic violence, Patterns of abuse, Early warning signs, Power and control wheel, How to report domestic violence.

Support services - General

Victims of domestic violence may need a wide range of help and support services.

For contact details to access these services please refer to our: Help and support contacts page.

Support services - People of non-English-speaking background

The Community Services translated resources in community languages webpage has numerous publications, including about domestic violence and child abuse, and in a number of languages( English, Arabic, Chinese, Croation, Macedonian, Turkish and Vietnamese).

Support services - Family violence victims sponsored under a spouse visa

Victims of domestic violence who have been sponsored by their partner to reside in Australia are offered support by a number of government departments to enable them to escape the abusive situation. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship supports women in these circumstances through the Women at Risk Program. The Domestic Violence Hotline provides referrals to appropriate refuges. Centrelink may be able to offer a crisis payment and Housing NSW can offer emergency accommodation.

Family violence contact officers are located at Department of Immigration and Citizenship offices in each state and territory. They are immigration officers who are experienced in handling applications from people seeking permanent residence on the grounds of family violence. They provide information on the family violence provision as well as details of organisations that offer a range of welfare and legal advice.

For more information contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Domestic violence and same-sex relationships

The Another Closet website contains information on what domestic violence is, domestic violence in same sex relationships, what to do if you are experiencing abuse and the details for a number of important referral services.