Family violence

We're strongly committed to protecting the community against family violence. As first responders, we see the devastating effects this behaviour can have on victims, their children, extended family, friends and the whole community.

In October 2015, ACT Policing launched the Family Violence Coordination Unit to ensure our officers implement best practice policies and procedures when responding to incidents of family violence.

Training is provided to frontline officers on legislation reform, and the unit works closely with other police forces across Australia to deliver the best outcomes for victims.

Our booklet Pocketbook Guide for Victims of Crime provides further information on family violence.

If you experience, see or hear family violence occurring call:

  • Triple Zero (000) in an emergency or life threatening situation.
  • Police Operations on 131 444 if it is a non-emergency, but your require police assistance.
  • Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to report information.

Family violence is not just a police problem; it’s a whole of community problem. Early action by witnesses in reporting domestic violence will enable police to respond and prevent physical harm and de-escalate potentially dangerous situations.

You can also contact Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS), a non-government crisis support agency in Canberra that provides 24/7 assistance to anyone affected by family violence. DVCS also provides direct crisis intervention and telephone support, access to safe accommodation, court support to people who have been subjected to family violence, referrals and information for women, men and young people.

Safety plan

If you are experiencing family violence, you should consider a safety plan, which is a personal strategy to help keep you safe. Advice about safety plans is available from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service.

EveryMan Australia (formerly Canberra Men’s Centre) provides counselling, crisis support, outreach services, information and referral to men with complex needs, including family violence.

EveryMan Australia is providing a phone support service for anyone who thinks that they’re at risk of using violence with a partner. This service is available not only to men at risk of using violence with women, but to members of Canberra’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Queer community and to women at risk of using violence to male partners. Call Connect and Support on 1300 261 610 to speak to a Violence Prevention worker.

Other Family Violence support services

No one should have to cope with family violence alone. If you have been involved in family violence or know someone who has, we encourage you make use of the services available including:

  • Legal Aid (ACT Domestic Violence and Protection Order Unit), which provides advice on the process for applying for an order, assistance with submitting an application, and representation in court.
  • Canberra Rape Crisis Centre provides a crisis counselling line, Indigenous community support, counselling to victims and their families, and community education programs.
  • Beryl Women Inc provides supported crisis accommodation to women with dependent children who are escaping domestic/family violence.
  • Victim Support ACT provides counselling, court support and advocacy services to victims of crime, including family violence. 
  • SupportLink provide follow up care for victims of family violence in non-crisis situations and can help people access other support services on a range of issues. 
  • The Women's Services Network support the women's specialist serivces sector that care for women and children fleeing violence. They also provide advice on how to stay safe online.
  • eSafetyWomen is designed to empower Australian women to take control of their online experiences.
  • What can you do? is a website designed to give you information on identifying domestic violence, what you can do to help and how you can speak out to stop the violence (including sexual violence) from occurring. You will find information for individuals, family and friends, workers and professionals as well as employers and workplaces.

Stop it at the start

On 20 April 2016 the Australian Government launched the national campaign Stop it at the Start. The camapign aims to demonstrate how the excuses we can make for disrespectful behaviour can impact children.

The attitudes and behaviours of adults have a lasting impact on children. They shape how young people treat others, allow themselves to be treated, and eventually will be passed onto future generations. Our excuses can allow disrespect to grow. Gradually boys and girls start to believe disrespect is just a normal part of growing up.

Parents, family members, teaches, coaches and managers can have a positive influence on the young people in their lives by setting the standard for what is and isn’t acceptable, right from the start.

We can do this by:

  • being more aware of the excuses we make and how they have a lasting impact
  • starting conversations about respect with boys and girls.

By talking openly with young people about respect and gender equality we can positively influence the attitudes and behaviours they take with them into adulthood. For more information on the Stop it at the Start campaign visit the Respect website.

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