Help and Support

Need help for domestic violence or sexual assault?

Emergency Situation

For emergency situations that require immediate and urgent assistance call 000.

Confidential Counselling and Information Service

1800 RESPECT: National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line is for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

1800 RESPECT  is free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Professionally qualified, specialist counsellors will provide counselling, information, advice and referrals to relevant local services.  You can access this service by calling 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

Workers and counsellors in isolated and remote areas who work with victims of physical or sexual violence can also call 1800 RESPECT to access clinical supervision, advice and debriefing services.

Family and domestic violence and sexual assault affect the entire community and it occurs in all areas of society, regardless of: geographic location, socio-economic status, age, culture and ethnic background or religious belief. Many forms of domestic and sexual violence are against the law.

NSW ‘Help for victims of sexual assault’ website

The NSW Government has launched a virtual one-stop-shop to assist victims of sexual assault. The new website, ‘Help for victims of sexual assault’, provides information to victims of sexual assault about the criminal justice process and other supports to assist them. Information is organised around the definition of sexual assault, information on support and counselling, safety and protection, reporting to police, the investigation, the court process and resources and information.

Help for victims of sexual assault (www.sexualassault.nsw.gov.au)

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National Relay Service

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment and wish to contact a counsellor:

  • TTY users - phone 133 677 and ask them to contact the Helpline for you
  • Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech relay) users - phone 1300 555 727 and ask them to contact the Helpline for you
  • Internet relay users - visit the National Relay Service website and ask them to contact the Helpline for you 

For more information visit the National Relay Service website.

Translating and interpreting service

If you do not speak English well and you wish to speak to a counsellor, call the Translating and Interpreting Service 13 14 50 and ask them to contact the Helpline for you.

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Crisis line numbers

This page provides specific contact details for services available Australia-wide and in each State and Territory.

Crisis line numbers
Australia-wide Phone
1800 RESPECT Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line

1800 RESPECT
(1800 737 732)

Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
Mensline Australia 1300 789 978
Australian Capital Territory Phone
Domestic Violence 02 6280 0900
Sexual Assault 02 6247 2525
New South Wales Phone
Domestic Violence (DoCS) 1800 656 463
Sexual Assault (Sydney) 02 9819 6565
Sexual Assault (Rural) 1800 424 017
Northern Territory Phone
Dawn House (Darwin) (24 hours) 08 8945 1388
Domestic Violence Counselling Services (Mon-Fri 8-4) 08 8945 6200
Sexual Assault (Katherine) (Mon - Fri 9-5) 08 8971 0777
Sexual Assault (Tennant Creek) (Mon - Fri 9-5) 08 8962 4364
Sexual Assault (Darwin) 08 8922 7156
Sexual Assault (Alice Springs) 08 8951 5880
Queensland Phone
Domestic Violence 1800 811 811
Sexual Assault 1800 010 120
South Australia Phone
Domestic Violence 1800 800 098
Sexual Assault 1800 817 421
Tasmania Phone
Domestic Violence 1800 608 122
Sexual Assault (Southern) 03 6231 1811
Sexual Assault (Northern) 03 6334 2740
Sexual Assault (North West) 03 6431 9711
Victoria Phone
Domestic Violence (Melbourne) 03 9322 3555
Domestic Violence (Rural) 1800 015 188
Sexual Assault 1800 806 292
Western Australia Phone
Domestic Violence 1800 007 339
Sexual Assault 1800 199 008

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What is domestic violence?

Domestic or family violence can include any behaviours used by one person to establish and maintain power and control over their partner or another person in his/her family, including:

  • physical abuse - including direct assaults on the body, use of weapons, driving dangerously, destruction of property, abuse of pets in front of family members, assault of children, locking the victim out of the house, and sleep deprivation.
  • sexual abuse - any form of forced sex or sexual degradation, such as sexual activity without consent, causing pain during sex, assaulting genitals, coercive sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, making the victim perform sexual acts unwillingly, criticising, or using sexually degrading insults.
  • emotional abuse - blaming the victim for all problems in the relationship, constantly comparing the victim with others to undermine self-esteem and self-worth, sporadic sulking, withdrawing all interest and engagement (e.g. weeks of silence).
  • verbal abuse - continual ‘put downs’ and humiliation, either privately or publicly, with attacks following clear themes that focus on intelligence, sexuality, body image and capacity as a parent and spouse.
  • social abuse - systematic isolation from family and friends through techniques such as ongoing rudeness to family and friends, moving to locations where the victim knows nobody, and forbidding or physically preventing the victim from going out and meeting people.
  • economic abuse - complete control of all monies, no access to bank accounts, providing only an inadequate ‘allowance’, using any wages earned by the victim for household expenses.
  • spiritual abuse - denying access to ceremonies, land or family, preventing religious observance, forcing victims to do things against their beliefs, denigration of cultural background, or using religious teachings or cultural tradition as a reason for violence.

What is sexual assault or violence?

Sexual violence is any behaviour of a sexual nature which is unwanted or occurs without consent. It includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse and rape. Sexual violence is an abuse of power which may involve the use of physical force, threat or coercion.

What help is available?

Working towards eliminating violence against women remains a major priority for all Australian governments. The Government plays a strong leadership role on the issue by informing policy, programs and practice. The Government also provides income support to women who are unable to support themselves due to domestic violence.

The States and Territories have the primary responsibility for providing programs and services to support women, children affected by domestic violence and to men who want to change their violent behaviour. These include specialist domestic violence services, perpetrator programs, refuges, generalist services (eg health services, family relationships services), and police and the court system.

Training for nurses in regional and rural areas

Practice nurses in regional and rural areas will receive training to assist them to identify and respond to domestic violence. Assistance will be given to releasing nurses for this training.

This will give people in regional areas access to a personal and confidential referral service.

Training for the criminal justice sector on sexual assault

Training will be developed for the legal sector to ensure that it is attuned to the sensitivities that accompany women's experiences of sexual assault.

Research has highlighted the important role of the criminal justice sector in determining whether a victim of sexual assault proceeds through the legal system.

 

Content Updated: 7 June 2012