Domestic violence support service

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Support for women experiencing domestic violence

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic and family violence, help is available.

Our Domestic Violence Support Service provides free, confidential, non-judgemental support to help women decide what steps they want to take, and then support them through those steps.

Whether you are thinking about staying in your relationship, leaving, or don’t know yet what you want to do, we can help you decide what’s best for you and support you to take action.

Our domestic and family violence specialists can provide you with information and advice, and support you in assessing your risk and planning for your safety, including how to exit an abusive relationship if you choose to. We can also support you once you have already left an abusive relationship.

Our aim is to support you to make informed decisions around your safety and wellbeing.

What is domestic and family violence?

Domestic and family violence is abusive behaviour towards you from someone you are dating, a partner, ex-partner or family member. It is not just physical abuse. It can include verbal, emotional, financial, sexual and psychological abuse, as well as threats, manipulation and controlling behaviour.

This abuse can get worse over time, or could only happen occasionally. Regardless, these behaviours are not your fault and are not acceptable.

Recognising violence in personal relationships isn’t always easy. Some of the signs are when the other party in your relationship:

  • controls or attempts to control how much you can spend
  • prevents or attempts to prevent you from working or going to school, or insists on accompanying you
  • controls or attempts to control where you can go, who you can see and what you wear
  • insists on being able to contact you at all times
  • checks your phone, email or social media without your knowledge or permission
  • uses language that humiliates or belittles you, either in private or in front of others
  • threatens you or someone close to you, including pets
  • physically harms you or someone close to you, including pets
  • throws objects or punches walls during outbursts
  • blames you for their violent outbursts
  • makes you feel pressured, or otherwise forces you, to engage in physical forms of intimacy including sex.

If you are experiencing any of these forms of abuse, we can help you get the information and support you need.

Who we help

This service is for women, including women-identifying people, and non-binary people and their families in Canberra who are experiencing domestic and family violence.

Men experiencing domestic violence can contact the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) on 0262800900 or EveryMan on 02 6230 6999.

What we can help with

The service includes help accessing legal, financial and housing services, as well as supporting you and your family’s emotional wellbeing.

We can help you with:

  • identifying and assessing the risks to your safety and planning how to prevent or reduce those risks
  • helping you understand domestic and family violence
  • emotional support, where you can talk in a safe and non-judgmental environment
  • support for getting a family violence order, including referrals to legal services
  • support in exiting an abusive relationship if you choose to, including identifying appropriate safety measures and helping you arrange resources and suitable accommodation
  • referrals to specialist services for housing, consumer and legal rights, finances and other wrap-around services
  • individual case management, including identifying what your needs are, providing support to access community services, advocating on your behalf where needed and helping you develop and maintain social links
  • support for your family’s mental and physical wellbeing, and help developing skills to manage your household
  • assistance getting the skills you need to get a job
  • completing forms for government support
  • providing material assistance or referring you to services that can help.

Contact us

Please note that our support service is available from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm. We can provide support in the community, over the phone, online or in one of our offices (located in Civic
and Conder).

You can get in touch with our team by calling 02 6185 2000 or emailing Respect@ywca-canberra.org.au

If you need to urgently leave your relationship or require crisis support, call the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) on 02 6280 0900.

If your safety is threatened, call the police on 000.