Domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence is violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour by a partner, carer or family member to control, dominate or cause fear. 

It doesn’t only mean physical abuse – it can also mean emotional, psychological, financial, sexual and other types of abuse.

It can affect anyone in the community, regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, age, culture, ethnicity, religion, disability, economic status or location.

Inner West Council is working in partnership with local community groups, organisations, networks and key national associations to address domestic and family violence.

Council recently resolved to allocate $78,000 on an annual basis for four years (2017/18 - 2020/21) to continue to support initiatives including the following:

  • $20,000 program funding annually to continue and expand the Speak Out Awareness Raising Campaign
  • $15,000 program funding annually to continue the delivery of the Love Bites program in local secondary schools across the Inner West
  • $25,000 program funding annually to support Council’s significant partnership in guiding the implementation of the Inner West Respectful Relationships Project
  • $18,000 program funding annually to support partnerships between Inner West Council, local community organisations and Police Local Area Commands to present White Ribbon Day events.
  • Speak Out

    Love Bites

    Love Bites is an interactive and innovative school-based domestic, family and relationship violence and sexual assault prevention education program aimed at young people aged 14 – 16 years (year 10 students). 

    The Love Bites program consists of two interactive educational workshops followed by creative workshops that consolidate the information from the educational workshops. The creative works produced by participants are often used for local community based awareness raising activities, events and campaigns. Artworks created by students in 2016 were displayed at local White Ribbon Day events throughout the Inner West. 

    The program is delivered in schools through a collaborative network of trained service providers from local organisations, known as Love Bites facilitators. Training is provided by NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect). 

    In the Inner West, Love Bites is co-ordinated and delivered by Inner West Love Bites. Inner West Love Bites is a working group of the Leichhardt Marrickville Domestic Violence Liaison Committee. Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre is the lead organisation. 

    In 2016, Council allocated $15,000 to deliver Love Bites workshops to over 400 students at Sydney Secondary College (Balmain Campus), Marrickville High School and Tempe High School.

    Inner West Respectful Relationships Project

    The Inner West Respectful Relationships Project is a ground-breaking partnership which will make the Inner West a safer and more respectful place to live. The project seeks to create generational change to end domestic and family violence in our community by providing every child and young person in the Inner West Local Government Area with the opportunity to participate in respectful relationships education. 

    Inner West Council has partnered with NAPCAN and Western Sydney University to scope the development and implementation of the project. The scoping phase, which began in September 2016 has involved extensive community consultation including the establishment of a community steering group.

    Inner West Respectful Relationships Project – Scoping Study Report (PDF 1.4MB)
    Prepared by Western Sydney University and NAPCAN

    White Ribbon Day

    White Ribbon is Australia's male-led campaign to prevent men's violence against women. The campaign culminates each year with White Ribbon Day on 25 November (also known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women). White Ribbon Day is acknowledged by local community groups and businesses across Australia through awareness raising activities and events. Men and women are called to wear a white ribbon or wristband as a visual symbol of their commitment and take the White Ribbon Oath (I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women. This is my Oath).

    Support and Services

    Domestic and Family Violence Support and Services

      NSW Domestic Violence Line - 1800 656 463 
      24-hour telephone counselling and referrals for accommodation, family support, hospitals and health centres or the police, legal services, court assistance schemes and explains what an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is and how to apply for one.

        1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732
        24-hour telephone and online counselling and information.

          Mensline Australia - 1300 78 99 78
          24-hour support for men anytime, anywhere – particularly those concerned about their own violent behaviour.

            Lifeline - 13 11 14
            24-hour telephone crisis support.

              Local Support for Women (Face-to-Face Support)

              Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre - 9560 3011
              Provides low-cost and affordable counselling, medical, allied and complementary health care and education to improve women's health. The centre also provides support at court, legal advice services and extensive referral information for local services.

              Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

                Child Protection Helpline - 132 111 or (TTY 1800 212 936)
                24-hour reporting line for anyone who suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is at risk of being neglected or physically, sexually or emotionally abused.

                  Young People

                    Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
                    24-hour telephone and online counselling and support service for young people aged between 5 and 25 years.

                      eheadspace - 1800 650 890 
                      9am - 1am (7 days). eheadspace is a confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 - 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth professional.

                        Twenty10 - 1800 652 010
                        9am - 5pm (5 days). Specialised support for young people aged 12 – 26 years to obtain information, referrals, support, advocacy, counselling and accommodation.

                          Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) Services

                            Another Closet 
                            A 2015 publication written for people in LGBTQI relationships who are, or may be, experiencing domestic and family violence. Download Another Closet from this link.

                              Safe Relationships Project, Inner City Legal Centre - 1800 244 481 
                              Court support, free legal advice and casework service for LGBTQI people experiencing or escaping domestic and family violence. The Safe Relationships Project has a Safe Room for LGBTQI victims of domestic and family violence at the Downing Centre in Sydney.

                                ACON - 1800 063 060 
                                ACON supports LGBTQI people who have experienced domestic or family violence through support and information sharing.

                                  The Gender Centre and the Transgender Anti-Violence Project - 1800 069 115
                                  Counselling, education, support, referrals and advocacy in relation to reporting violence such as domestic and family violence, sexual violence, anti- transgender harassment and hate crimes.

                                    QLife Australia - 1800 184 527 
                                    3pm - 12am every day. Phone support, counselling and referral service for LQBTQI people of all ages.

                                      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services

                                        Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service Map
                                        A detailed list of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services.

                                          Wirringa Baiya - 9569 3847 or 1800 686 587
                                          Support for women and children who are experiencing domestic and family violence or sexual assault

                                            Health Info Net
                                            Information about services for Indigenous Australians, including domestic and family violence and sexual assault services

                                              Gunawirra - 9810 2312
                                              Empowering young aboriginal parents with babies and young children to intervene in their own lives.

                                                Services for Women from Migrant, Refugee or CALD Communities

                                                Immigrant Women’s Speakout - 9635 8022
                                                Advice, referrals and assistance to immigrant women, including those who have experienced violence or abuse.

                                                Legal Services

                                                  Women’s Legal Service - Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (DVAS) - 8745 6999 or 1800 810 784
                                                  Phone advice and appointments for women.

                                                    Community Legal Services
                                                    Check the Community Legal Centres NSW directory for a list community legal services across NSW.

                                                      LawAccess - 1300 888 529 
                                                      Telephone information about legal issues including domestic and family violence

                                                        Women’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) - 1300 888 529 (contact via LawAccess NSW)

                                                          Legal Aid Domestic Violence Practitioner Scheme - 1300 888 529 (contact LawAccess NSW)
                                                          Legal advice and legal aid for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence. 

                                                            Homelessness and Accommodation

                                                              NSW Domestic Violence Line - 1800 656 463
                                                              For women and children seeking crisis accommodation.

                                                                Link2home - 1800 152 152 
                                                                24-hour information and referral service to specialist homelessness services, support services, temporary accommodation and other services in NSW.

                                                                  The Girls Refuge - 9564 3638
                                                                  Safe accommodation for girls aged 14-17 years and outreach support services for girls and families living in the community. Available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

                                                                    Staying Home Leaving Violence
                                                                    A support program available in many regions which assists people experiencing domestic and family violence to remain in their homes, supported by an AVO which excludes the abuser from residing there (exclusion order).

                                                                      Translating Services

                                                                        Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) - 131 450

                                                                          TTY or Relay Service
                                                                          24hr access for people who are deaf and hearing impaired.
                                                                          For emergency TTY calls - 106
                                                                          For emergency access via the internet
                                                                          For non-emergency TTY calls - 133 677

                                                                          Sexual Assault Services

                                                                            Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia  (formerly NSW Rape Crisis Centre) - 1800 424 017
                                                                            Telephone and online counselling services for anyone who has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault, domestic or family violence and their non-offending supporters. Available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week

                                                                              NSW Health Sexual Assault Services

                                                                                Other Services

                                                                                  The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline - 1800 880 052
                                                                                  Telephone service for reporting cases of neglect and abuse of disabled members of the community. 
                                                                                  Monday - Friday 9:00am - 9:00pm
                                                                                  Saturday and Sunday 10:00am - 9:00pm
                                                                                  National Relay Service - 1800 555 677
                                                                                  Interpreter service - 131 450

                                                                                    NSW Elder Abuse Helpline - 1800 628 221
                                                                                    Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm 
                                                                                    Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of implied trust, which harms an older person. It includes financial, psychological, physical, verbal, sexual abuse, and neglect.

                                                                                      Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
                                                                                      24-hour, nationwide service that provides telephone and online counselling to people 15 years and over who are suicidal, caring for someone who is suicidal, bereaved by suicide or supporting people affected by suicide.

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                                                                                      Page last updated: 20 Sep 2018