Help and Support
For emergency situations that require immediate and urgent assistance call 000.
Confidential Counselling and Information Service
1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
The National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Service is a confidential telephone and online counselling service, staffed by professional counsellors to assist any person 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) or visiting the 1800Respect website.
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.
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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.
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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This page provides specific contact details for services available Australia-wide and in each State and Territory.
More information about Women’s Safety can be found in related agencies and sites.
|1800 RESPECT Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line||
|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|
|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|
|Domestic Violence||1800 811 811|
|Sexual Assault||1800 010 120|
|Domestic Violence||1800 800 098|
|Sexual Assault||1800 817 421|
|Domestic Violence||1800 608 122|
|Sexual Assault (Southern)||03 6231 1811|
|Sexual Assault (Northern)||03 6334 2740|
|Sexual Assault (North West)||03 6431 9711|
|Domestic Violence (Melbourne)||03 9322 3555|
|Domestic Violence (Rural)||1800 015 188|
|Sexual Assault||1800 806 292|
|Domestic Violence||1800 007 339|
|Sexual Assault||1800 199 008|
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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.
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.
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.