THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN
FA M I LY A N D D O M E S T I C V I O L E N C E
S T U D E N T I N F O R M AT I O N K I T
Department for Community Development
Government of Western Australia
Family and Domestic Violence Unit
So what is domestic violence? ............................................................................................................3
More than hitting? ..............................................................................................................................3
All couples fight – what’s the difference?.............................................................................................4
Who experiences family and domestic violence?..................................................................................4
How common is family and domestic violence?....................................................................................5
Who is responsible? ...........................................................................................................................6
What causes family and domestic violence? ........................................................................................7
What really happens in abusive relationships?.....................................................................................7
Why doesn’t she leave?.....................................................................................................................10
What is the impact of abusive relationships? ....................................................................................11
What does the law say? ....................................................................................................................12
Safety planning is essential .............................................................................................................13
Whose business is it anyway? ...........................................................................................................14
What is the government doing? .........................................................................................................15
Who can help? .................................................................................................................................16
Where can I go for more info?...........................................................................................................17
• violence and abuse to older people from a partner, carer, child, or other
HOW TO USE THIS KIT
family member (elder abuse)
This kit has been developed in response to numerous requests received from
• violence and abuse within same sex relationships
students by the Family and Domestic Violence Unit for information on family
and domestic violence. • violence and abuse between other family members, including nuclear
The kit has been designed for students at high school, TAFE and university. and extended family members.
It is intended to provide students with information for general education and
awareness raising, as well as information that will be useful for assignments.
It is part of the Family and Domestic Violence Unit’s strategy to educate the MORE THAN HITTING?
community that family and domestic violence is unacceptable and that it is Some forms of family and domestic violence are generally well recognised by
an issue for the whole community to address. the community. Physical violence such as hitting and kicking is understood
by many people to be domestic violence. Other forms of family and domestic
violence tend to be less well recognised and understood.
S O W H AT I S FA M I LY A N D When domestic violence is occurring in a relationship, more than one form
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? of abuse is usually present. Some victims are never physically abused but
experience a range of other behaviour designed to control and intimidate
Family and domestic violence is when one person intentionally uses threats,
them. Victims of violence often say that physical injuries heal and it’s the
force or intimidation to control and manipulate the other person. It can only
emotional scars that hurt the most. While emotional abuse can occur
happen in relationships where the balance of power is unequal.
without other types of violence, physical abuse rarely exists on its own –
A definition: emotional/psychological abuse and controlling behaviours are almost always
Domestic violence is considered to be behaviour, which
results in physical, sexual and/or psychological damage, “He never actually hit me. He intimidated me through
forced social isolation, economic deprivation, or behaviour gestures, looks, telling me I was useless, telling me I was
which causes the victim to live in fear. a bitch or a slut. He drove my friends away by being rude
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples generally prefer the term to them. All he had to do was look at me in a certain way
‘family violence’. This concept describes a matrix of harmful, violent and and I would start shaking.”
aggressive behaviours and is considered to be more reflective of an
Indigenous world view of community and family healing. However, the use
of this term should not obscure the fact that Indigenous women and
children bear the brunt of family violence.
Family and domestic violence occurs between partners who are married, de
facto or otherwise emotionally connected, ex partners and any family
members. This includes young people’s dating relationships and people who
are in a relationship but do not live together.
Family and domestic violence occurs in a variety of relationships including:
• children’s violence towards parents (usually involving adolescent
Family and domestic violence includes:
ALL COUPLES FIGHT –
• Sexual abuse – demands for sex when one person does not want to
participate, threats of physical violence during sex, rape, being forced
W H AT ’ S T H E D I F F E R E N C E ?
to watch sexual acts or pornography, being forced to do things one It is true that most couples experience conflict in their relationship –
person does not want to do. to varying degrees. Conflict in relationships usually occurs when there
is a disagreement or difference and where one or both parties want to
• Emotional/Psychological abuse – humiliation, threats, insults,
get their own way – it is usually ‘situational’, that is, it occurs around
harassment, playing mind games, accusing their partner of having an
affair, denying or minimising the abuse, blaming the victim for the
abuse. Family and domestic violence is different from the usual conflict in
relationships in that:
• Verbal abuse - put downs, insults, name calling, swearing.
• it is a pattern of behaviours, rather than situational
• Social abuse – controlling access to family and friends, controlling use
of the telephone, isolating their partner from others, not allowing their • it involves systematic behaviour using violence, economic
partner to have a job or other interests outside the home, forbidding subordination, threats, isolation and other control tactics
their partner to go out, wanting to know where their partner is all the • it’s intent is to dominate and control, rather than to get one’s own way
time. or to resolve an issue
• Physical abuse – punching, choking, pushing, shoving, kicking, hair • it causes fear – one partner must be actually afraid of the other
pulling, throwing and smashing objects, injuring pets, damaging
• it has serious physical and mental health consequences.
property and the threat of all of these.
• Economic abuse – controlling the household income, not allowing money
for personal use, not allowing their partner access to bank accounts.
Family and domestic violence also includes other forms of control, such as
making decisions for their partner and excessive jealousy.
“In the beginning I thought his jealousy meant he loved me. The jealousy got worse and worse until one day I realised he was
so jealous that he would kill me before letting me be with anyone else. That’s not love.”
WHO EXPERIENCES Children
• A report on the Joondalup Family Violence Court indicated that children
FA M I LY A N D D O M E S T I C were present in 73% of incidents of family and domestic violence.
VIOLENCE? • In 2000/2001, 2917 children accompanied a parent to a refuge in
Family and domestic violence knows no boundaries – victims and Western Australia as a result of family and domestic violence.
perpetrators include people from all cultural and religious backgrounds, • A report by the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department (2001)
socio-economic groups, with and without disabilities, sexual preference, estimated that about one in three young people have witnessed family
educational level and ages. However, some groups experience domestic and domestic violence in a broad form (i.e. including yelling) between
violence at a rate far higher than others do. their parents or carers and that about 16% are currently exposed to
these forms of violence.
Family and domestic violence is gender based. This means that men and • Children growing up in households where domestic violence is present
women experience it differently. The gender based nature of family and are at higher risk of being abused directly themselves. Research shows
domestic violence is an important part of understanding this issue and in that child abuse also occurs in 30 to 60% of families where domestic
finding ways to address the problem. violence is a problem.
Statistics show that women experience family and domestic violence at far
greater rates than men (Ferrante, 1996).
• According to WA’s police statistics for 1994; Aboriginal victims are
• Compared with male victims, women are: vastly over-represented in statistics for domestic violence. Aboriginal
people are approximately 45 times more likely to be a victim of
• three times more likely to be injured as a result of violence
domestic violence than non-Aboriginal people.
• five times mores likely to require medical attention or
• Overall, Aboriginal victims sustain more serious injuries from reported
incidents of domestic violence than non-Aboriginal victims.
• five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.
• Indigenous people represent just over 2% of the Australian population,
• In 1994, Western Australian females were victims in 91.4% of yet they account for nearly 25% of intimate partner homicides.
domestic violence cases and males in only 8.6%.
• For women, incidents of domestic violence account for almost one in
five reported attacks against them, compared to less than one in 50 for
• Annual incidence rates of reported domestic violence indicate that
females are ten times more likely than males to be victims of reported
incidents of domestic violence in Western Australia.
• In Victoria between 1989 and 1998, 57% of deaths resulting from
homicide or violence were perpetrated by an intimate partner, with
women being five times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner
Women and children often live in fear as a result of the abuse used by the
perpetrator to maintain control over their partners and families.
H O W C O M M O N I S FA M I LY WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? Powerful myths in our society hide the true nature of family and domestic
violence. These are reinforced by common sayings such as “a man’s home is
Most family and domestic violence is unreported, so it is difficult to
his castle” and “she must have done something to deserve it”. These myths
accurately represent the extent of it in our community. Many studies have
imply that what goes on in the home is a private matter, and that violence is
used surveys rather than reporting to determine the rates of domestic
justifiable in some circumstances.
violence. The following statistics provide a guide towards the rate of
domestic violence, though they should generally be treated as an In fact, family and domestic violence is a human rights issue. All people
underestimate. have the right to live free from fear, intimidation and violence, no matter
where it occurs and who perpetrates it. Children have these same rights.
No person has the right to abuse another in any way.
• Results from a 1996 study showed that 23% of women who had ever
been married or in a de-facto relationship experienced violence by a Violence and abuse is not justifiable in any circumstances – there is no
partner at some time during the relationship (Australian Bureau of reason or excuse that can make it OK to hurt another person. The abuser is
Statistics). responsible for the violence and abuse – just as we are all responsible for
• Younger women are more at risk of domestic violence than older women our own actions.
– more than 7% of women aged 18–24 years have experienced one or
more incidents of violence from a current partner in the previous 12 “Every time he hit me or raped me – somehow he found a
months compared to just one 1% of women aged 55 years and older. reason to blame me. It was always something he said I did
• In 2001–2002 in Western Australia there were 33 homicides, 18 of wrong – not cooked dinner right, kids being noisy, not
which were female. Of those 18 women, 72% were killed as a result of wearing the right clothes to a party, nagging him.
domestic violence (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2003)
Afterwards he’d say ‘if only you would get things right,
Perpetrators I wouldn’t have to hit you’. I wanted things to work out so
• Research indicates that offenders of domestic violence are usually, but
I tried harder and harder to please him but no matter what
not always, men. A national statistical picture of male and female
offenders indicates that from 86% to 98% of reported domestic I did, nothing changed. It was always the same –
violence incidents involve male offenders. according to him I was to blame for his violence.”
W H AT I S T H E C A U S E O F W H AT R E A L LY H A P P E N S
FA M I LY A N D D O M E S T I C IN ABUSIVE
VIOLENCE? R E L AT I O N S H I P S ?
Responses to domestic violence are shaped according to beliefs, Family and domestic violence is not a series of isolated incidents or a loss of
assumptions and theories about how and why it occurs. A number of control but a pattern of behaviours – intended to create and maintain power
understandings have been identified, showing differing values and and control over another person. In most abusive relationships there are
perspectives which are often contradictory. similarities in behaviour.
Early theories focussed on identifying and treating individual or family Many people feel incidents of family and domestic violence occur because
‘deficiencies’ which were seen to make those people use or become victims someone is so angry or so drunk that they lose control of themselves.
of violence. These approaches ignore significant causal factors. Later Abusers often justify their actions with “if she hadn’t kept nagging me I
theories saw violence as a reflection of male dominated or patriarchal wouldn’t have lost my temper,” or ”I was so out of it, I didn’t know what I
structures in society. was doing.” In reality, perpetrators of family and domestic violence TAKE
CONTROL when they abuse.
Today we take a more comprehensive view of the individual within the
context of the broader society. Domestic violence is seen as arising from a They take control of the immediate situation, their partner, their physical
complex interaction between, on the one hand, political and social space and usually the outcome of the situation. Family and domestic
structures in which women generally have less power than men, and on the violence is a crime of power and control, not passion out of control.
other, individual responses to those structures.
Two of the most common models of understanding domestic violence are
included over the next couple of pages. These models help us to understand
the dynamics of violence in relationships. They have both heavily influenced
research and intervention in family and domestic violence.
They are also used when working with people in violent relationships – both
victims and perpetrators – to assist in their understanding of what is
As stated previously in this kit, it is generally understood as gendered
violence, and is an abuse of power within a relationship or after separation.
In the large majority of cases the offender is male and the victim female. In
line with this understanding the terms men and women are used to describe
victims and perpetrators in these general descriptions.
THE POWER AND CONTROL WHEEL
CAL VIOLENCE SEXUAL
USING COERCION AND THREATS USING INTIMIDATION
• making and/or carrying out threats • making her afraid by using looks,
to do something to hurt her actions, gestures
• threatening to leave her, to commit • destroying her property
suicide, to report her to welfare • displaying weapons
• making her do illegal things • smashing things
• making her drop charges. • abusing pets.
USING ECONOMIC ABUSE USING EMOTIONAL ABUSE
• preventing her from getting or keeping a job • putting her down
• making her ask for money • calling her names
• giving her an allowance • making her feel bad about herself
• making her think she’s crazy
• taking her money
• playing mind games
• not letting her know about or have access
to family income.
making her feel guity.
USING MALE PRIVILEGE
• treating her like a servant
CONTROL USING ISOLATION
• controlling what she does, who she sees and
• making all the big decisions talks to, what she reads, where she goes
• acting like the ‘master of the house’ • limiting her outside involvement
• being the one to define men’s and • using jeoulousy to justify actions.
USING CHILDREN MINIMISING,
• making her feel guilty about the children
DENYING AND BLAMING
• using the children to relay messages
• making light of the abuse and not
• using visitation to harass her
taking her concerns about it seriously
• threatening to take the children away.
• saying the abuse didn’t happen
• shifting responsibility for abusing behaviour
• saying she caused it.
CAL VIOLENCE SEXUAL
The Power and Control Wheel was developed by women in Duluth, Minnesota, USA who had been abused by their male partners and were
attending women's education groups at the local women's shelter. The wheel represents the various forms of power and control experienced by
these women. The wheel helps us to understand that domestic violence usually involves more than physical violence and alerts us to the range of
controlling behaviours used by perpetrators.
HONEYMOON PHASE BUILDUP PHASE
• Enmeshment – mutual • Increase in tension and aggression
dependence on the relationship • A feeling of ‘walking on eggshells’
• Denial of violence and abuse
THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE STANDOVER PHASE
• Pursuit • Control
• Promises • Fear
REMORSE PHASE EXPLOSION
• Any type of
How the Cycle Works
The length of time in which the cycle is completed varies. Some stages of the cycle can be skipped altogether, though the feeling of ‘being on a merry-go-round’
is common to almost all abusive relationships.
BUILD UP – the tension is building. There is disagreement without resolution. Problems or frustrations are not resolved. There is a feeling that an incident is about
STANDOVER – abuser uses tactics to maintain control - anger, threats, jealousy. Women are in fear and are often compliant in an attempt to maintain harmony –
this is usually ineffective.
EXPLOSION – can include any type of violence – physical, sexual, emotional/psychological, verbal, financial, social. The ‘explosion’ does not necessarily involve an
act of physical violence.
REMORSE - many perpetrators feel remorse yet do not admit it. Despite this remorse they will justify "a man can only take so much" and minimise "it was only a little
shove". Women often want to believe the remorse, sometimes denying or minimising the violence for reasons of guilt, shame or a hope that things will change.
WITHDRAWAL - sometimes one party will withdraw from the other, this may include leaving for a few hours or days, sulking, and the ‘silent treatment’. It is often at
this stage that women seek support and assistance.
BUY BACK – male usually tries these stages of different strategies to 'buy back' their partner. Firstly pursuit, promises and pressure – this can include apologies and
gifts. Secondly helplessness “I can't live without you and lastly threats (to hurt her, to suicide, to take the children).
HONEYMOON – the couple usually buy back into a mutually dependent, socially isolated relationship. Nothing has been resolved. At this stage things can be good
for a while and the couple will often believe that “this time things will be different”.
Eventually the cycle continues and the couple moves back into the build up again.
Adapted from Ian MacDonald December 1986
Barriers to women leaving abusive relationships include:
S H E L E AV E ? • Community attitudes – that what happens in the home is private, that
“she must have deserved it” or that “if she didn’t like it she could
It is a common and powerfully dominant myth that “if a woman doesn’t like it
she can leave”. It can be difficult to understand why people experiencing
• Shame and embarrassment.
family and domestic violence remain in the relationship or do not seek help.
• Previous experiences of negative responses to disclosing abuse –
Studies consistently show that compared with victims of other forms of by friends/family, police, doctor, workplace etc.
violence, victims of family and domestic violence are:
• Loss of confidence and self esteem.
• less likely to disclose • Fear of what the perpetrator will do – many women are threatened that
• less likely to report to the police if they leave their partner will kill them, take the children, commit
• less likely to go to court suicide.
• less likely to seek support • Belief or fear that no one will believe them or take them seriously.
• less likely to name the act as violence. • Economic dependence on partner – many women have no income and
do not know how they and their children will survive if they leave.
There are many reasons why women may choose to stay, or find it difficult to
leave abusive relationships. The barriers to leaving are real, not imagined. • Isolation – many abused women have been systematically isolated and
Many women who are victims of violence experience prejudice, have lost contact with friends and family – this leaves them without
marginalisation and further isolation – making it more difficult to access emotional support.
services (Women’s Safety Survey, ABS, 1996). The fear of what their partner • Some women minimise the abuse, or hope that “this time will be the
will do if they leave is verified by research – one quarter of intimate partner last time”.
homicides occur between separated or divorced couples, confirming this is a • Emotional attachment to their partner – most women want the violence
high-risk period. (Mouzos and Rushforth, 2003). to end, not the relationship.
• Fear that seeking help will lead to the removal of their children.
“My Mum told me that if she could live with it, so could I.
• Belief that it is in the best interests of the children to stay in the
I don’t know how she survived the years of beatings – relationship – for financial reasons, to live with their Dad.
I didn’t think I could, but her telling me that somehow made
me feel like I should just put up with it. Maybe I would
have left years earlier if someone had supported me.”
their emotional, cognitive and social development. Children have varying
W H AT I S T H E I M PA C T O F
responses, which can include emotional, behavioural and psychological
A B U S I V E R E L AT I O N S H I P S ? difficulties in both the short and long term. Children living in homes where
Women domestic violence is present are more likely to have difficulties including:
Family and domestic violence has severe and persistent effects on women’s • nervous and withdrawn behaviour
wellbeing, physical and mental health.
Physical and mental health problems experienced by female victims of • adjustment problems, poor school performance
family and domestic violence include: • low self esteem
• injury as a result of violence – family and domestic violence is the most • regressive behaviours, such as bedwetting
common cause of injury to women • restlessness
• stress • psychosomatic illnesses
• anxiety • excessive cruelty to animals
• depression and psychiatric illness • aggressive language and behaviour
• chronic pain eg headaches, neck pain • social problems including poor peer relations, poor social problem
• phobias solving skills and few social interests
• sleeping problems • mental health problems both as children and adults.
• eating disorders
• pregnancy complications eg miscarriage, low birth weight babies
• increased use of alcohol and other drugs
• more likely to suicide.
“ I didn’t realise that my constant headaches and
exhaustion were because of the abuse until after I’d left
him and sorted my life out under my own rules and to
meet my needs. I rarely get headaches now.”
Family violence hurts kids too… even if they don’t see it.
“My Dad hits my mum and yells. If he didn’t we could be
happy like other families”
West Australian research shows that children were present in 73% of
domestic violence incidents (Joondalup Family Violence Court Report).
Children are sometimes called the ‘silent victims’ of domestic violence.
Recent evidence clearly shows that living in a family where a parent is being
abused – whether or not the children are physically abused themselves – has
significant traumatic effects on children and poses significant threats to
If a crime has been committed and this has been reported to the police,
W H AT D O E S T H E L A W S AY ?
they have an obligation to investigate the alleged crime. If sufficient
The law recognises that family and domestic violence has negative evidence is available the abuser can be charged and brought before the
impacts. In Australia both civil law and criminal law is available to court. If found guilty, the magistrate or judge will sentence the offender
protect victims of family and domestic violence. according to the law.
Many forms of family and domestic violence are a crime including: Civil law offers protection in the form of restraining orders. A restraining
• homicide – murder, manslaughter, driving causing death order is a court order to protect a person/s from personal violence and
abuse, the fear of violence, intimidating or offensive behaviour and to
protect their property from damage.
• sexual assault
• arson All states in Australia have similar orders to protect people from violence.
• damage to motor vehicle or premises These orders vary somewhat from state to state, and often have a different
name, such as Apprehended Violence Order. In Western Australia new
• being on a property unlawfully
Restraining Order Legislation has been developed which strengthens laws to
increase the protection of victims of violence, including children.
• threats – to cause fear, to kill
• animal offences – wounding or killing an animal A restraining order is worded to offer the protection needed by people’s
• conspiracy to commit a crime individual circumstances. For example it can stop the other person from:
• breaching a restraining order • contacting you either directly or through someone else
• interfering with a witness • coming near you, your home or your workplace
• stalking. • having firearms, ammunition or a firearms licence.
Restraining orders can also be made to protect children.
• Determine who you could stay with or lend you some money.
• Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest
IS ESSENTIAL way to leave.
Safety is the most important issue for people who are experiencing • Remember – leaving is the most dangerous time.
family and domestic violence. There are lots of ways that people in a • Remember your safety is important and you are not to blame.
violent relationship can increase their safety. When victims contact
support agencies staff work with them to increase their awareness of Safety in your own home
safety issues and assist them to prepare safety plans. A sample safety • Change the locks on your doors and windows.
plan is provided below. • Talk to the police about a duress alarm.
• Teach your children a safety plan for when you are not with them.
• Inform your child’s school, day care etc about who has permission to
Safety at home pick up your children.
• Tell someone you trust about your situation.
• Ask neighbours and your landlord to call the police if they see your
• Look for patterns in your partners behaviour that will alert you to
partner near your home.
• Call the police if you are in danger.
• Find safer areas of the house where there are escape routes and no
• Remember your safety is important and you are not to blame.
weapons. Try to move to those areas when you have a feeling that
something is about to happen.
• Practice with your children what to do when violence occurs – where to
go, who to tell, how to call the police. Plan a code word to tell them
that they should get help or leave the house.
• Tell your children that they are not responsible for the violence and that
they should not try to intervene or protect you in any way.
• Know who to call in an emergency – have the phone numbers handy.
Do not be afraid to call the police. Know where the nearest pay phone is.
• Have a spare set of keys and some money hidden in a safe place.
• Tell a friend or neighbour about the violence and develop a plan with
them for when you need help.
• Keep a diary about the violence and abuse, noting dates, events and
threats if possible.
• Remember your safety is important and you are not to blame.
Safety when preparing to leave
• Open a savings account in your own name. Put spare money in it if
• Have a spare set of keys and some money hidden in a safe place.
• Leave money, keys, copies of important documents, clothes and
children’s toys with someone you trust or in a safe place so you can
undertook the report and found that the total cost of domestic violence to
WHOSE BUSINESS IS IT
the Australian economy in 2002/03 was $8.1 billion.
A N Y WAY ?
The report estimates that in 2003 the total number of Australian
For too long family and domestic violence has been considered a victims of domestic violence may have been of the order of 408,100 of
private issue, and one not to be interfered with. However, community which 87% were women.
attitudes are changing and research shows that most young people
It was estimated that 263,800 children were living with domestic violence
now feel that family and domestic violence is not acceptable under
and 181,200 children witnessed domestic violence in 2002/03. The report
any circumstances or provocation.
concluded second generation impacts (ie childcare, counselling, future use
Family and domestic violence is an issue for the whole community to of government services, increased juvenile and adult crime) cost $220
address. It is a violation of human rights – not a private matter. Its impact is million annually, with $125 million of that cost borne by Government.
far reaching and affects not only those who are the direct victims of violence
A recent study of the health costs associated with Domestic violence
and their families, but the whole community. Australia has an obligation as a conducted in Victoria, indicated that domestic violence is the leading
signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms contributor to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15–44,
of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). being responsible for more of the disease burden than many well-known risk
factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and obesity.
In addition to the enormous physical and emotional impact on the
individual, violence in the home has economic implications for the It contributes 9 per cent to the total disease burden in Victorian women
community as a whole. The Federal Government has recently commissioned aged 15–44 and 3 per cent in all Victorian women. (Victorian Health
a report on the economic costs of Domestic Violence. Access Economics Promotion Foundation 2004).
W H AT I S T H E
The Western Australian Government is committed to reducing family
and domestic violence and to improving services that assist those
affected by it.
The Government has published the Western Australian Family and Domestic
Violence State Strategic Plan. This five-year plan aims to reduce the level,
and fear, of family and domestic violence in Western Australia by bringing all
relevant Ministers and government departments to work together under a
single policy framework. The first Annual Action Plan 2004/05 coming from
the state strategic plan has also been produced. This details the strategies
and actions undertaken by government to prevent and reduce family and
Government works in a multi-faceted way to combat family and domestic
violence in the community. Government implements and funds a
comprehensive range of strategies, programs and initiatives in response to
family and domestic violence including but not limited to:
• a $75 million commitment in response to the Gordon Inquiry Into Child
Abuse and Family Violence in Aboriginal Communities resulting in more
police officers and child protection workers throughout the state
• the State Government, through the Department for Community
Development, provided more than $18 million in 2002/03 to
community organisations to run local programs such as women’s
refuges, counselling for children, men’s perpetrator programs and other
• the Western Australia Police Service, through its Child Protection and
Family Violence Project: Concept of Operations clearly identifies family
and domestic violence as a crime and is working to improve police
responses to people experiencing family and domestic violence
• new legislation has been developed in relation to Restraining Orders,
providing increased protection for victims, including children, and
heavier penalties where children are involved.
• the Department of Justice is committed to the rollout of the best
aspects of the Joondalup Family Violence Court, which was a pilot
project to improve responses to family and domestic violence.
• Legal Aid WA provides legal advice and court representation to female
victims of family and domestic violence.
WHO CAN HELP? Women’s Information Service
Free and confidential telephone information referral service available to all
If you or someone you know is experiencing family and domestic women in Western Australia.
violence help and support is available. The services listed below Tel 9264 1900 / 1800 199 174
provide confidential advice, support and assistance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
DVAS Central (Domestic Violence Advocacy Support Central)
If you are in danger call the police.
Free, confidential crisis support service for people experiencing domestic
Tel 9222 1111
violence. Police, legal, support and advocacy services are available.
Urgent Police Support: 131 444
For life threatening emergencies: 000 Tel 9226 2370
Telephone service to assist people in crisis. Kids Helpline
Tel 9223 1111 Free and confidential telephone counselling helpline for 5–18 year olds
Free call STD 1800 199 008 in Australia.
Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline Tel 1800 551 800
Free state wide telephone information, support, counselling and crisis
assistance for women experiencing domestic violence. Domestic Violence Online Resource Guide
Tel 9223 1188 This web-based guide provides information about all services and resources
Free call STD 1800 007 339 available to assist people experiencing family and domestic violence across
Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline Website www.community.wa.gov.au/Resources/FamilyDomesticViolence/
Free state wide helpline that offers information, referral and telephone
counselling from people who are specially trained in talking to men about
Tel 9223 1199
Free call 1800 000 599
WHERE CAN I GO FOR MORE INFO?
Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearing House
Provides a central point for the collection and dissemination of Australian domestic and family violence policy, practice and research. Provides a
research and resources database, good practice database, quarterly newsletters, issue papers and current news and events about domestic and
family violence. The clearinghouse will also assist with locating information about these issues through its library and information service.
Tel (02) 9385 2990
GOVERNMENT SITES NON – GOVERNMENT SITES
Freedom From Fear – Campaign Against Domestic Violence Women’s Refuge Group
Family and Domestic Violence Unit Western Australian Council of Social Services
Department for Community Development Child Health Institute
Western Australian Police Service People with disabilities
Department of Justice Council on the Ageing
Partnerships Against Domestic Violence Access Economics
Legal Aid Western Australia
Family and Domestic Violence Unit, 2004. The Western Australian State
Strategic Plan for Responding to Family and Domestic Violence, Government
Access Economics, 2004. The Cost of Domestic Violence to the Australian of Western Australia.
Economy: Part 1 & 2. Partnerships against Domestic Violence.
Family and Domestic Violence Unit, 2001. Freedom from Fear, Information
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1996. Women’s Safety Australia, Kit and Fact Sheets, Government of Western Australia.
Catalogue No. 4128.0, Australia Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Ferrante et al., 1996. Measuring the Extent of Domestic Violence,
Australian Institute of Criminology, 2003. Homicide in Australia 2001-2002 Sydney, NSW: Hawkins Press
National Homicide Monitoring Program Annual Report
Gordon, S., Hallahan, K., Henry, D. (2002) Putting the Picture together,
Bagshaw & Chung, 2000. Reshaping Response to Domestic Violence: Inquiry into Response by Government Agencies to Complaints of Family
The Needs of Children and Young People in The Way Forward, Children Violence and Child Abuse in Aboriginal Communities, Department of Premier
Young People and Domestic Violence. Conference Proceedings, Partnerships and Cabinet, Western Australia.
Against Domestic Violence April 2000.
Heenan & Astbury, 2004. The Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate
Department of the Chief Minister, 1995. Domestic Violence A Statistical Partner Violence, Presentation to the World Conference on Health Promotion
Picture, Percentage of Male and Female Offenders, Office of Women's and Health Education 2004, unpublished as cited in VicHealth, 2004
Affairs, Darwin as cited in Northern Territory Government Offenders and The Health Costs of Violence Measuring the Burden of Disease Caused by
Domestic Violence - Fact Sheet 7, Domestic Violence Information Kit, Intimate Partner Violence a Summary of Findings.
McIntosh, 2000. Thought in the Face of Violence: A Child’s Need in The
Department of Justice, 2002. Joondalup Family Violence Court Final Report. Way Forward, Children Young People and Domestic Violence. Conference
Proceedings, Partnerships Against Domestic Violence April 2000.
Mouzos & Rushforth, 2003. Family Homicide in Australia, Australian
Institute of Criminology.
National Crime Prevention Program, 2001. Young People and Domestic
Violence: National Research on Young People’s attitudes and Experiences of
Domestic Violence, Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department
Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 2004. The health costs of violence.
Measuring the burden of disease caused by intimate partner violence.
World Health Organisation, 2002. World Report on Violence and Health,
C O N TA C T U S
Family and Domestic Violence Unit
Level 1, 141 St Georges Terrace
Western Australia 6000
Tel 9264 6350
Department for Community Development
Government of Western Australia 12/04
Family and Domestic Violence Unit