Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is when someone you are in a relationship with someone who behaves in ways that make you feel fearful or unsafe. Domestic relationships are spousal, intimate or dating. Tactics may be used by your partner to maintain power and control in a relationship.

Examples are:

  • Words or actions to intimidate or harass you
  • Controlling your actions
  • Stopping you seeing friends and family
  • Causing injury or harming you in any way
  • Damaging your property
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Threatening you

Domestic violence can happen to any woman.

She may be of any age, status, religion, ethnicity or culture.

If you are in immediate danger - Ring 000

You have a right to feel safe

The physical and emotional safety of you and your children (if you have any) must come first.

Making the decision to leave or stay in a violent relationship is very difficult. There is support available to help you, either way.

People who experience this type of abuse or violence can feel very confused or ashamed. It is hard to accept that someone you love and have trusted can behave aggressively towards you. If you are unable to explain the other person’s behaviour, you may begin to think that you are to blame.

You are not to blame! It is not your fault!

You do not have to live with Violence.
Everyone has a right to feel safe

How this may be affecting you?

Violence can affect you in all sorts of ways, such as:

  • Not sleeping properly
  • Nausea or headaches
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Missing classes, or taking days off work
  • Not communicating with your family or friends
  • Feeling like you can’t trust people
  • Losing touch with who you are and what is important to you, your own opinions and feelings
  • Having less confidence in yourself
  • Feeling alone and afraid to tell anyone

Some ideas that may help you to feel stronger

  • Focus on things that you enjoy or feel good at, to build your confidence
  • Write your feelings down, keep a journal, or write your partner a letter that you don’t have to send
  • Listen to music that has lyrics in it that make you feel stronger
  • Pay attention to and trust your feelings and gut instincts
  • Believe that you don’t deserve to be treated this way
  • Believe it’s not your fault that your partner behaves this way
  • Be proud of the way you’ve been able to be strong and of the ways you have found to keep going when you’ve felt so much confusion, fear and hurt

Children also need someone to talk to about what is happening in their home

Children are affected by domestic violence even if they have not seen the abuse or violence.

You can help a child who has experienced domestic violence in the following ways:

  • Tell them that the violence is not their fault, and that using violence is never OK;
  • Give them permission to talk about the violence;
  • Help make a safety plan that they can follow; and
  • Let them know that other children have had similar experiences.

Domestic Violence Protection Order

If you are currently in a harmful relationship, it is strongly recommended that you seek assistance in obtaining a Domestic Violence Protection Order for the safety of both you and your children. A Domestic Violence Protection Order is a civil court Order which stands to outline restricted actions and behaviours a perpetrator can impose on you.

Such restricted behaviours may include:                           

  • Communication with you
  • Visiting your home
  • Violent acts and willful injury
  • Willful damage to property
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment
  • Indecent behaviour
  • Stalking
  • Threats to commit these acts

Children, relatives or associates may also be protected in this order.

For more information and help with obtaining a Domestic Violence Protection Order in North Queensland, please contact the North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Service on  (07) 47 212 888.
If you live outside of North Queensland, please contact your local Women’s Centre or Domestic Violence Agency, Police or Magistrates Court.

Safety Plan

It is recommended to have a safety plan developed in the event of an emergency. Suggestions include:

  • Let supportive people know, tell family, friends and neighbours about what is happening.
  • Decide on a reliable friend or family member you can contact if you feel threatened or in danger.
  • Decide on a safe and reliable location you can go to if you feel unsafe
  • Practice travelling to the location that you have chosen as a safe place, both during the day and during the night.
  • Decide what arrangements you will make to ensure the safety of your children. Let children know what to do in an emergency (where to go, who to telephone, e.g. the police and ambulance).
  • Pack a bag with the following; money for a taxi, spare house keys and car keys, a change of clothes for you and the children, a list of emergency phone numbers, medications (even if only 2 days supply), important documents and identification.
  • Keep this bag in a safe place, perhaps at a friend's house, where it is easily accessible.
  • Important documents and identification may include; bank books or copies of bank statements, cheque books, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, tax file number and a copy of your last tax assessment, credit cards and car registration.

If you have time to plan your departure, as well as the above items, you may also want to consider the following:

  • Hiding your address book
  • Taking a selection of photographs
  • Making special arrangements for pets (you may contact DV Connect on 1800 811 811 or your local RSPCA for more information)
  • Copying or taking house deeds and insurance documents, if applicable
  • Furniture storage arrangements

Where possible, take all personal and household possessions. If you are unable to do so, police attendance can be arranged for appropriate protection, either at the time of leaving or at a later date if you wish to collect other belongings.

You do not need to get hurt before seeking help

After leaving a violent partner:

  • You can ask the electricity board, Telstra etc.to keep your forwarding address confidential
  • Ask the school to let you know if he turns up there
  • Use an answering machine to screen calls

Helpful tips to consider

  • If you currently have a Domestic Violence Protection Order, it is strongly advised that you carry a copy of this with you at all times. This will ensure the necessary information is on hand if any breaches of the Order occur
  • Keep a diary of relevant events. This may include; when the violence occurred, what happened, were police involved, police report number, whether you suffered any injuries (physical or emotional).
  • Talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, relative or counsellor
  • See a doctor or the local hospital if you are injured or emotionally distressed
  • Seek support and counselling (keep these dates in your diary)
  • Seek legal advice. In Townsville, contact NQ Women’s Legal Service for elsewhere contact your local Women's Legal Service(keep these dates in your diary)
  • Most importantly, keep yourself safe!
  • Whether you stay or leave, these safety plans and strategies may be of help to you. Sometimes it may not be easy or possible to leave, however remember that keeping yourself and your children safe is the most important thing you can do.
  • Contact DVConnect on 1800 811 811 (24 Hrs Free call) if you are escaping domestic violence and you need a safe place to stay.

Useful Links

North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Service

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearing House

Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research

Crisis numbers

24hr telephone support services available include:

DV Connect

1800 811 811

Homeless Persons
Information Centre

1800 474 753

Lifeline

131 114

Sexual Assault Helpline

1800 010 120 (until 11.30pm)

National Sexual Assault,
Domestic Family Violence
Counselling Service

1800 010 120 (1800 RESPECT)