Domestic violence, sometimes called family violence, is against the law. You have the right to feel safe at home and you should never have to see or experience it. It is okay to complain and to talk to someone.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is when someone close to you threatens you or does something to harm you or someone else in your family.
Domestic violence can include:
- physical assault: punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, choking, or using weapons;
- sexual assault: such as being forced to have sex or do sexual activities, either by watching or participating;
- emotional or psychological abuse: stalking, unreasonably monitoring you, making you feel worthless, criticising your personality, your looks, the way you dress, constantly putting you down, threatening to hurt you, your children, or your pets;
- economic abuse: taking control of the money and property, forcing you to hand over your money, selling your property without consent, not letting you have a say in how it is spent;
- damaging your property or harming your pets;
- threatening to do any of these things or
- any other abuse to control or dominate you: stopping you from seeing your friends and family, or isolating you from others.
This person can be someone in your family or can be your boyfriend or girlfriend, a relative, a parent or carer, or even your parents’ partner.
Domestic violence can happen to you, or someone else in your family, e.g. violence between your parents. If you see it happening to someone else in your family you should still report it.
If you witness, overhear or are exposed to domestic violence, this could also be child abuse. You have the right to be safe from all types of abuse. See the Child Abuse Fact Sheet for more information: http://www.lawstuff.org.au/legal-help/resources/Child-Abuse.
What can I do?
Domestic violence is unacceptable, and if you see it occur or are a victim of it, you should report it. Everyone has a right to be safe from any type of violence.
If you or anyone else is in immediate danger of being hurt, call the Police on 000.
You should also call the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability’s Child Safety Services on their free hotline 1800 177 135 who deals with the care and protection of children. Alternatively you can call one of their regional numbers which can be found below.
If you feel unsafe in your home because of the violence that is happening, it is important to talk to someone. If you do not speak to anyone, or report what is happening, then no one will know what is going on and they can’t help you. You could talk to an adult you trust and feel comfortable with, like a family friend or your teacher. Below is a list of important contacts you can call if you need to talk to someone else.
What will happen if I report?
If you call the Police or the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, information you give is kept confidential – the person who is causing the violence will not be told that you have contacted them. The Police or the authorities may investigate what is happening. If they are worried about your safety, a court order can be made preventing the person from hurting you, such as a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO).
- Emergency Crisis Line
(Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services)
Call 1800 177 135 (24 Hours)or one of their Regional Crisis numbers or visit http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/communityservices/violence-prevention
Regional Crisis Line numbers:
1300 682 254
1300 703 762
Far North Qld
1300 684 062
1300 703 921
1300 706 147
1300 679 849
1300 683 390
The Regional Intake Service is available from 9am to 5pm on weekdays.
(National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service)
Call 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800respect.org.au
They can provide 24 hour counselling, support and referral for anyone whose life has been impacted by sexual, domestic or family violence.
- DVConnect (Domestic and Family Violence Support
They provide separate help lines for women, men and children affected by domestic and family violence across Queensland dealing with counselling, support and information.
DVConnect Women’s (Children & young person) Help Line (24 hour): 1800 811 811
DVConnect Men’s Help Line (9am-midnight): 1800 600 636
- Domestic Violence Resource Centre
Call 07 3217 2544 (Mon-Fri 9am-4:45pm) or visit www.dvrc.org.au
They provide online resources, as well as help & support services.
For any legal questions you have, write us a Lawmail and we can give you free legal advice, information and referrals to local services. To send us a Lawmail, visit the Lawstuff website at www.lawstuff.org.au – then select your State or Territory’s Lawstuff page and follow the links to send us a Lawmail.
Disclaimer: This is legal information not advice specific to you. If you would like specific advice about a legal question, please send us a Lawmail.
This page was last reviewed in 2012.