Family and domestic violence support
Family and domestic violence refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between family members, and people who are or have been in an intimate relationship.
The perpetrator uses family and domestic violence to control and dominate the other person causing fear, physical harm and/or psychological harm.
Types of family and domestic violence
Family and domestic violence in Australia can include:
- Emotional abuse
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Verbal abuse
- Financial abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Harassment in person or via text or social media
- Abusive behaviour towards pets
- Breaching an apprehended domestic violence order.
Family and domestic violence is a crime and a violation of human rights.
Stirling Women’s Centre
If you are experiencing family or domestic violence, the Stirling Women’s Centre can support you. The City of Stirling’s Women’s Centre provides crisis accommodation and support services for women and children, such as:
- Safe, short-term accommodation for 6-8 weeks
- Safety planning
- Risk assessment
- Housing information
- Family and domestic violence education
- Financial and trauma counselling
- Legal advice and assistance
- Supporting expanding social networks
- Court support and transport.
The Safe at Home program provides support for women and children to enable them to stay in their own home when it is safe for them to do so.
The program is based on an assessment of risk and safety which empowers women to make informed decisions after they have experienced family and domestic violence.
For more information, please phone Stirling Women’s Centre.
Contact details and staffed hours
Phone (08) 9205 7375
Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 12.30pm - 5.00pm
Read our personal safety plan
A personal safety plan is important for minimising the risk to yourself and your children in the event of a family and domestic violence incident. The Stirling Women's Centre can help your family develop a safety plan in relation to family domestic violence.
A sample personal safety plan would include the following elements:
- Contact Crisis Care or the police and find out about legal and other resources available to you beforehand, in case you have to use them during a crisis
- Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and where there are escape routes. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas
- Do not run to where the children are as you may also put them in danger
- Have a list of emergency phone numbers on hand. Always have your mobile phone charged and know where it is. Do not be afraid to call the police
- Tell someone you trust what is happening to you
- Let your friends and neighbours know of your situation. Develop a plan for them to assist you if needed. This may include a signal such as turning the outside light on even during the day if you need help
- Show your children how to get help (teach them how to dial 000, ask for police and know their home address)
- Teach them how to seek help and not get involved in the violence between you and your partner
- Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them to go. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you
- Plan a code-word to tell the children that they should get help or leave the house
- Practice how to get out safely with your children (keep the conversation practical like other safety conversations you may have around natural disaster planning, fire safety etc.)
- Have a spare set of car keys hidden for when you may need to escape
- If you have the opportunity, try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you
- Keep a written account of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made if possible
- If you have been injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report the incident. Ask for the information to be documented
- Know where your closest local daytime and 24 hour Police stations are
- Pack an emergency bag if needed include birth certificates, ID, keys, bank cards, passports, money and USB with important documents on it
- Teach your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Tell them that it is not their fault and they have not done anything to cause the violence.
Family and domestic abuse - Useful resources
- Police 000 or 131 444
- Crisis Care (08) 9223 1111
- Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 007 339
- Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 000 599
- Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) 1800 199 888 or (08) 6458 1828 (24hr emergency line)
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
- Meth Helpline 1800 874 878.