How can I support someone experiencing Domestic and Family Violence?

What is Domestic and Family Violence? 

Domestic and family violence happens when one person in a prescribed relationship uses violence or abuse to control the other person.  

Is domestic and family violence an isolated incident?  

This behaviour normally involves ongoing patterns of behaviour which makes the victim feel unsafe and afraid.  

Who can be affected by domestic and violence? 

People from all walks of life can be affected by domestic and family violence regardless of their culture, age, sexual preference and age.  

Both men and women can be victims.  

Generally, most victims are women.  

Does domestic and family violence only happen in family and partner relationships?  

The scope of relationships covered is much broader than abuse just between partners.  

This type of behaviour occurs in intimate relationships between people who are or have been married, dating or living together.  

Domestic and family abuse also occurs between family members and within carer relationships, including those unpaid carer relationships.  

If there is no violence, is there still domestic and family violence?  

Not all abuse is physical.  

Abuse can include a range of behaviour including:  

  • Verbal abuse 
  • Sexual abuse 
  • Emotional abuse 
  • Financial abuse  
  • Controlling and coercive behaviour including threats  
  • Obsessive behaviour  

How can I support someone I know who is experiencing domestic and family violence?  

The ‘Support someone experiencing domestic and family violence’ online brochure released by the Queensland government lists out several actions to consider when assisting someone experiencing his type of violence including:  

  • Focus on their safety and their children’s safety  
  • Ensure they are alone and that it’s safe for them to speak with you  
  • Listen carefully to what they have to say  
  • Don’t blame them  
  • Let them know the violence is not their fault  
  • Respect their right to make their own decisions  
  • Don’t make negative or critical comments about the abusive person  
  • Maintain regular contact with them  
  • Encourage them to get specialist help and tell them about services available. 

What kind of signs suggest someone is experiencing domestic and family violence?  

There are a range of different behaviours that indicate someone may be experiencing domestic and family violence. The ‘Support someone experiencing domestic and family violence’ online brochure released by the Queensland government lists out behaviours to be aware of:    

  • They appear to be afraid of their partner or always very anxious to please them  
  • They stop seeing you, other friends or family and become isolated 
  • They become anxious or depressed, unusually quiet or less confident  
  • Their partner is controlling, obsessive or jealous  
  • Their partner has threatened to harm them, their children or pets  
  • Their partner continually phones or texts to check on them  
  • Their partner is depressed or suicidal  
  • They have physical injuries (bruises, sprains or cuts on the body) and may give unlikely explanations for these injuries  
  • They will finish phone calls when their partner comes into the room 
  • They are reluctant to leave their children with their partner  
  • They suspect that they are being stalked or followed  
  • They will say their partner or carer gives them no access to money, makes them justify every cent that is spent or makes them hand over their money  
  • They are denied adequate care if they are an older person or a person with a disability and the person caring for them is abusive. 

To access more information about how to support someone experiencing domestic and family violence, visit the ‘Support someone experiencing domestic and family violence’ online brochure developed by Queensland Government.  

Support Services  

If you are experiencing domestic or family violence, there is a safe pathway to obtain legal protection and a number of support services that are available to assist you and your family, such as:   

  • DVConnect Womensline – 1800 811 811 
  • DVConnect Mensline- 1800 600 636 
  • Legal Aid Queensland – 1300 651 188 
  • Women’s Legal Service – Brisbane – (07) 3392 0670  
  • Women’s Legal Service – Statewide – 1800 957 957 
  • Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline – 1800 010 120 
  • 1800 RESPECT National – 1800 737 732  
  • Immigrant Women’s Support Service (IWSS) Brisbane – (07) 3846 3490 
  • Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) – 13 14 50 

Need Legal Assistance? We can Help.   

If you are at the stage of needing to lodge a Protection Order, our Family Law team can assist you.  

For more information Contact us on (07) 3252 0011.   

Helpful Links   

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