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Domestic violence and abuse

Most families have arguments and family members sometimes don’t get along. This is normal, but if an adult in your family is hurting, humiliating, threatening or frightening other people in your family then this could be domestic violence.

If you think that someone you care about is being hurt or you're scared or confused about things that are happening in your family you can take a quiz to help you work out what’s going on.

If you're a child or young person living in a house where there is domestic violence, remember:

  • Don’t put yourself in any danger to try and protect someone else.
  • It's not your fault. The only person who can be blamed for the violence is the person who is being violent.
  • You are not alone–there are people who can help you.

If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who uses violence, find out how to access support services and counselling.

Find out how you can support someone who is experiencing domestic and family violence.

Find out more about support for people who are experiencing abuse.

How domestic and family violence can make you feel

When faced with violence or abuse, you may feel:

  • frightened or nervous
  • guilty or ashamed
  • confused or sad
  • anxious or depressed
  • sick, have headaches or stomach pain.

These feeling are a normal response to what is happening. They are a sign that you should get help. You may also:

  • not want to eat
  • not want to be with your friends
  • not be sleeping well and sometimes have nightmares
  • not want to do school work
  • want to run away or leave home
  • want to drink alcohol or take drugs
  • begin to stutter or have trouble talking
  • worry about the safety of your family.

What you can do

If you or someone else is getting hurt and you need help right away, phone Triple Zero (000). Ask for the police.

Living with violence and abuse is hard to deal with, but there may be some steps you can take to make the situation better.

Plan to keep yourself safe

Here are some things you could consider:

  • Work out who you can trust to talk to about what is happening in your home.
  • Find a safe place in the house where you can go when the violence is happening.
  • Plan the best way to get out of your house quickly.
  • Ask a neighbour or friend who lives nearby if you can go to their house in an emergency. Make a plan for how to get there.
  • Make a list of people you want to call if you have to leave home quickly. Make sure you have their telephone numbers written down in a safe place or in your mobile.

Getting help

Help is always available.

  • If you feel that you are, or someone you care about is, in danger call the Police on Triple Zero (000).
  • Call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 for help. Kids Helpline is a free and confidential telephone and online counselling service for young people aged between 5 and 25. You can speak to a counsellor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811. They help people who are experiencing domestic violence and children or other family members who are concerned about domestic and family violence.
  • DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636. They help men who are affected by domestic violence and children or other family members who are concerned about domestic and family violence.
  • Contact someone you can trust like a relative, teacher or school guidance officer. Try to explain how you or your family has been hurt even though it may be hard to find the right words. If the person doesn't listen or doesn't believe you, tell someone else.
  • Remember that the violence is not your fault. You are not to blame for something that someone else has done wrong.

Learn how you can report all kinds of abuse whether it is happening to you or someone else.

More support

You can also get information and support from:

Trust your instinct

Domestic and family violence takes many forms and can sometimes have fatal consequences. If you are concerned someone you know is being abused, don't let your concern become regret. Trust your instinct - call DV Connect on 1800 811 811.

Bursting the Bubble

Bursting the Bubble website helps you work out what is okay in a family and what is not.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated:
11 September 2015

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