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.

What is domestic and family violence?

Everyone has the right to feel safe, healthy and happy in their relationships. Domestic violence is when one person in a relationship uses behaviour that is violent, threatening or controlling. This can make you feel afraid, but you don’t deserve to feel this way and it is never your fault.

Domestic violence can come from your partner, ex-partner, a relative or child. There are many different ways domestic violence can happen, and all are serious.

You may feel: 

  • Like you have no control
  • Unsafe
  • Anxious or worried
  • Isolated
  • Confused about what is real and what is not
  • On edge’ all the time
  • Humiliated
  • Pressured
  • Low self-esteem

What makes a relationship unhealthy?

Domestic violence info chart

What makes a relationship healthy?

Domestic violence info chart

Talking to the police

Domestic violence is against the law and there are lots of different ways the police can help keep you safe. One main way is through an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO), which is an order made by a court. An ADVO can stop a person going near you, calling you or sending you messages. You can also get an ADVO if you still live with a person, and it will say things like they cannot hurt you, yell at you or take your money. If you have children, the ADVO can include them too.

How to speak to the police if it is not an emergency

Ask to speak with the Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO) at your local police station.
These are people who are specially trained to deal with domestic and family violence. DVLOs can give you information about safety and your legal rights.
They can also help you make decisions about getting an ADVO or going to court.

Local police stations 

  • Leichhardt: 9552 8099
  • Newtown: 9550 8199
  • Ashfield: 9797 4099
  • Marrickville: 9568 9299

Where to seek support?

Legal help

What work is Inner West Council currently doing?

A collaborative and multi-faceted approach is needed to address domestic and family violence. Thus, this can only be achieved by working with the community and guided by an evidence-informed approach. These approaches include:

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

Council in 2017 resolved to allocate $78,000 on an annual basis for four years (2017/18 - 2020/21) to continue to support initiatives. See details below. 

Rate this page

  • Rate as The content was useful0% The content was useful votes
  • Rate as The content was not useful100.00% The content was not useful votes

Thanks for your feedback. We will use this data to improve the content of this page.

Page last updated: 04 Sep 2023