Safety programs

Countering violence against women is a shared responsibility and requires a national response. The Commonwealth Government sets the national policy agenda and provides a number of services that can assist people experiencing family or domestic violence, including support through the social security system, as well as housing, health, education and legal assistance services.

States and Territories are primarily responsible for the delivery of frontline services, and for the administration of justice and child protection responses. These include specialist domestic violence services, perpetrator programs, emergency accommodation, generalist services (e.g. health services, family relationships services), and police and the court system.

Specific programs funded by the Australian Government include:

1800 RESPECT - 1800 737 732

1800RESPECT: the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Service (1800 737 732 / is a free and confidential telephone and online counselling service staffed by professional counsellors to assist any person who has experienced, or is at risk of sexual assault and/or family and domestic violence. The service offers:

  • First response and online counselling, provided by experienced, qualified counsellors with a three-year tertiary qualification in a related field and a minimum of two years full-time counselling experience.
  • Trauma specialist counselling, provided by experienced, qualified counsellors with a three-year tertiary qualification in a related field and three years minimum specialist trauma counselling experience or full-time equivalent experience in specialised sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling of people from diverse backgrounds and locations.
  • Sector support through a range of online resources such as a digital toolkit for frontline workers and regular webinars.
  • A range of service enhancement projects in collaboration with research and sector representatives to improve access for people with complex access requirements.
  • Engagement with the sector and state and territory governments.
  • A website with important information for those affected by domestic or family violence, their friends and family.
  • Daisy mobile phone app provides information on domestic and family violence services available in a person’s local area.
  • Sunny mobile phone app for women with disability who have experienced or are at risk of violence to learn about violence, know their rights and reach for support.


DV-alert is a free nationally accredited training program designed to help health, allied health and community frontline workers better understand and identify domestic and family violence and improve their referral and support skills. More information about domestic and family violence training can be found at DV-alert.

Keeping Women Safe in their Homes

Keeping Women Safe in their Homes is an Australian Government initiative that funds state and territory governments and select providers to help women and their children who have experienced family and domestic violence to remain in their homes or a home of their choosing, when it is safe and appropriate to do so. It is a key initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

National standards for the primary prevention of sexual assault through education

In 2008, the development of best practice models of primary prevention education in the field of sexual assault was still in its infancy in Australia. The National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence (NASASV) was funded to develop a National Sexual Assault Prevention Education Framework including Six National Standards for effective sexual assault prevention education informed by research and consultation with specialist service providers.

Escaping Violence Payment (EVP) trial

The Escaping Violence Payment national trial (EVP) assists in addressing the financial barriers victim-survivors experience when leaving a family and domestic violence situation and establishing a home free from violence.

The trial of the EVP supports eligible victim-survivors with individualised packages up to $5,000 in financial assistance to establish a home free from violence. The financial assistance can include up to $1,500 in cash and the remainder in goods, services and supports.

The financial assistance provided through the EVP could assist with paying for bills, relocation expenses, furnishings, white goods, counselling and legal services. The EVP complements existing programs by linking victim-survivors with other relevant services that support them and their children through other Commonwealth or state and territory government funded services.

To be eligible for the EVP, individuals must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident, aged 18 years or older, experiencing financial stress and be the victim of intimate partner violence that has resulted in a changed living arrangement. The UnitingCare Network is delivering the trial to individuals Australia-wide. Further information, including how to apply can be found on the Escaping Violence Payment page on the Uniting Vic.Tas website.

Evaluation of the Escaping Violence Payment (EVP) trial

An independent evaluation of the EVP trial was undertaken by Whereto Research Consultancy to review the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of the EVP trial. Read the final evaluation report.

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