Family violence

Family violence


In this section:

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.

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.

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.

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:

  • Domestic Violence Crisis Service DVCS can provide support 24/7 to those in the community who are impacted by domestic and family violence, including those who are at risk of using violence. They can provide crisis intervention and telephone support, access to safe accommodation, legal advocacy, safety planning and referrals.
    Phone: 6280 0900 Open: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Legal Aid The Legal Aid ACT Family Violence Unit is open and available by telephone to anyone who needs legal advice or assistance regarding family violence or related family law issues. This includes representation in the ACT Magistrates Court (by phone) to obtain Family Violence Orders. LegalAids Community Liaison Team is also available for assistance with family violence related support, including social worker, men’s worker, cultural liaison officers and Aboriginal support officers. Phone: 1300 654 314  Open: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.
  • Canberra Rape Crisis Centre provides a crisis counselling line, Indigenous community support, counselling to victims and their families, and community education programs. Counselling, crisis appointments and advocacy appointments are available on the phone, without police involvement. A 24-hour callout service to police and forensic services is open for those wishing to report sexual assault. Phone: 6247 2525 Open: 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
  • Beryl Women Inc provides supported crisis accommodation to women with dependent children who are escaping family violence.
  • Victim Support ACT provides counselling, court support and advocacy services to victims of crime, including family violence. Phone: 6205 2222 Email: Open: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • 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. 
  • Women's Services Network support the women's specialist services 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 family violence, what you can do to help and how you can speak out to stop the violence (including sexual violence) from occurring. Information is available for individuals, family and friends, workers and professionals as well as employers and workplaces.
  • EveryMan Australia (formerly Canberra Men’s Centre) provides counselling, crisis support, outreach services, information and referral to men with complex needs, including family violence. Call Connect and Support on 0479 018 021 to speak to a Violence Prevention worker.
  • YWCA provides counselling, support and legal assistance.
  • 1800 RESPECT provides support for those experiencing sexual, domestic and family violence via phone or web chat. Phone: 1800 RESPECT (737 732), Web chat, Open: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Stop it at the start

On 20 April 2016 the Australian Government launched the national campaign Stop it at the Start. The campaign 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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