Where can you find help? What do you need to know? For individuals experiencing domestic and family violence.

All people can experience domestic, family and sexual violence. It does not matter how old you are or what gender you are; what your sexual orientation, religion or cultural background is. Nor does it matter what your education level or financial status is.

It can occur in different relationships: between husband and wife, or girlfriend and boyfriend; in same sex relationships; between adults and children or adults and older parents; between extended family members; or between people living together in a non-sexual relationship. It does not matter whether the relationship is past or current.

For Women

Advice for Women experiencing domestic or family violence (including sexual violence)

What do you need to know?

Domestic Violence is a crime. Domestic violence is where your partner, ex-partner or a family member uses direct or threatened abuse which causes damage to you or your children or causes you to live in fear.

Do you…

  • Feel scared around your partner or feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’
  • Change your behaviour or your appearance to prevent your partner becoming angry
  • Limit your contact to avoid family and friends because of your partner’s behaviour
  • Make decisions and choices based on your partner’s reactions rather than your own wishes

A relationship can be abusive without there being physical violence; and may include:

  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Telling you that you can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Controlling all money spent in the household
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Forcing you to sign for loans you might not agree with
  • Questioning you about every purchase you make
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Hitting, punching, pulling by the hair, choking, pinching, pushing, stabbing or restraining you in any way (often on parts of the body that other people will not see)
  • Not letting you sleep, or eat
  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
  • If you are pregnant, being jealous of the pregnancy or child, or of the extra attention you may experience from family, friends and health care providers.

There is no excuse for domestic and family violence and you are not to blame. It is important to understand that:

  • It is never your fault.
  • You don’t deserve this and you don’t have to live with it.
  • This is a crime and there are laws to protect you.
  • There are organisations that can help you.

Below are some ideas from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service that may help. Look at your situation and decide what may or may not be helpful. The length of time you have been experiencing the abuse and the level of violence being used against you may also influence what you choose to do. Many people use a combination of all sorts of things before finding something that works for them and is safe for them:

  • Think about who you could trust to talk with safely. Just talking it through with someone else can give you a bit of distance to see the situation more clearly.
  • Call a service such as DVCS to talk over your situation. You don’t have to give your name or personal details.
  • Counselling may be an option for people who use abusive and violent behaviours. This can be a long process and that person must want to change their behaviour and be open to taking responsibility for the impact of their behaviour on their partner/families.
  • Find ways to be less controlled and isolated, for example seeing your friends and/or family, taking up a course, or getting a job.
  • Getting a family member or community member to talk with the people who use abusive and violent behaviours. Whoever this person is has to be clear that using abusive and violent behaviour is never okay.
  • Join a support group or find a counsellor for yourself. This can help break down your sense of isolation and assist you to think through what is best for you and your kids.
  • Call the Police. In the ACT the Police aim to treat domestic violence seriously. They are trained to respond professionally and promptly to your call.
  • Apply for a Domestic Violence Order. This is an order of the court directing a person not do certain things.
  • Ask for assistance from an outside support agency
  • Actually leaving, planning to leave or telling the other person about your intention to leave can be a dangerous time. If the ideas of leaving will mean increased threats, violence and watching over you, then consider it carefully. Work out a safety or crisis plan.

It is important to consider your safety when you are considering leaving, or have left, a violent relationship. If you cannot leave the violence, there are some ways you can increase your safety. It may help to devise a safety plan that you can use if you have to leave suddenly. Information and support is available from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service – http://dvcs.org.au/safety-planning/  Contact them to discuss your individual needs, wants and situation.

Whether you are thinking about leaving your situation, have left or plan to stay with them, there are services available for you (and your children).

Where can you find help?

There is a range of information and advice, as well as organisations in the ACT that are available to help you if you are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, or if you want to know what assistance is available or where to get help in the ACT.

See the links below.

But if you feel unsafe or feel you are at serious risk of being hurt by your partner or somebody in your family, you should ring the Police on 000 immediately.

Canberra based services:

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) provides a variety of services including 24hr telephone counselling, support and access to safe accommodation.

Phone: (02) 6280 0900 (24 hour crisis line)

Website: http://www.dvcs.org.au

The DVCS website contains some useful resources including information about:

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre (CRCC) can provide counselling services that are free of charge and can offer victims/survivors with support and advocacy and also provide support to non-offending parents of children who have been sexually assaulted.

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (crisis line)

Website: www.crcc.org.au

Nguru

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support and Community Education Program

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (7.00am-11.00pm, 7 days a week)

Email: nguru@crcc.org.au

Forensic and Medical Assault Care (FAMSAC)

Phone: (02) 6244 2184 (Monday–Friday 9.00am–5.00pm)

Phone: (02) 6244 2222 (after hours)

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/canberra-hospital/our-services/medical-services/sexual-health/forensic-and-medical-sexual-assault

24 hour crisis support services:

1800 Respect National

 1800 Respect National is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is for those experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence. Victims of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their family and friends, can call 1800RESPECT or visit the website.

Phone: 1800 737 732

Website: www.1800respect.org.au

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. Their Specialist Family Violence support and prevention is a confidential service for couples or families who are having difficulties managing conflict that may result in hostility, violence or abuse.

Phone: 1300 364 277

Website: http://www.racr.relationships.org.au/services/family-violence-prevention

Life Line

Phone: 13 11 14

Website: www.lifeline.org.au

ACT Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team

Phone: 1800 629 354

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/mental-health-justice-health-alcohol-drug-services/#aclxrs

Where can you find out more?

ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC) website

The Domestic Violence Prevention Council’s website provides advice and information advice for families or friends of someone experiencing violence; for service providers wanting advice to help others; or for people who may be using violence.

http://dvpc.org.au/advice-and-information-where-to-get-help-in-the-act/

The website also provides information for workers needing resources for helping clients experiencing family violence, or who are looking to improve their skills and knowledge in dealing with domestic and family violence, or for employers seeking workplace-related information about domestic and family violence.

http://www.dvpc.org.au/access-to-helpful-resources-about-domestic-violence/

What To Say Website

The What To Say website is designed to give individuals and workplaces the information they need to identify sexual violence and to respond, even though it may not be easy speaking up about it. What To Say gives information about safe ways to intervene when you witness sexual violence, and also provides advice on how to support someone who tells you they’ve experienced sexual violence.

http://www.whattosay.org.au

For People with a Disability

Advice for People with a Disability experiencing domestic or family violence (including sexual violence)

What do you need to know?

Domestic violence is a crime. . Domestic and family violence is when someone is hurting you or treating you badly or uses direct or threatened abuse which causes damage to you or your children or causes you to live in fear. The person hurting you could be your spouse or partner, your parent or child, or another family member and could also be your carer.

Do you…

  • Feel scared around that person or feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’
  • Change your behaviour or your appearance to prevent that person becoming angry
  • Limit your contact to avoid family and friends because of their behaviour
  • Make decisions and choices based on their reactions rather than your own wishes.

A relationship can be abusive without there being physical violence; and may include:

  • Denying or restricting access to your transport or mobility aids, medication or other disability supports;
  • Failing to help you with toileting, washing or feeding;
  • Injuring or threatening to injure a service animal that you are reliant on for independence;
  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Telling you that you can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Controlling all money spent in the household
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Forcing you to sign for loans you might not agree with
  • Questioning you about every purchase you make
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Hitting, punching, pulling by the hair, choking, pinching, pushing, stabbing or restraining you in any way (often on parts of the body that other people will not see)
  • Not letting you sleep, or eat
  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
  • If you are pregnant, being jealous of the pregnancy or child, or of the extra attention you may experience from family, friends and health care providers.

There is no excuse for domestic and family violence and you are not to blame. It is important to understand that:

  • It is never your fault.
  • You don’t deserve this and you don’t have to live with it.
  • This is a crime and there are laws to protect you.
  • There are organisations that can help you.

Below are some ideas from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service that may help. Look at your situation and decide what may or may not be helpful. The length of time you have been experiencing the abuse and the level of violence being used against you may also influence what you choose to do. Many people use a combination of all sorts of things before finding something that works for them and is safe for them:

  • Think about who you could trust to talk with safely. Just talking it through with someone else can give you a bit of distance to see the situation more clearly.
  • Call a service such as DVCS to talk over your situation. You don’t have to give your name or personal details.
  • Counselling may be an option for people who use abusive and violent behaviours. This can be a long process and that person must want to change their behaviour and be open to taking responsibility for the impact of their behaviour on their partner/families.
  • Find ways to be less controlled and isolated, for example seeing your friends and/or family, taking up a course, or getting a job.
  • Getting a family member or community member to talk with the people who use abusive and violent behaviours. Whoever this person is has to be clear that using abusive and violent behaviour is never okay.
  • Join a support group or find a counsellor for yourself. This can help break down your sense of isolation and assist you to think through what is best for you and your kids.
  • Call the Police. In the ACT the Police aim to treat domestic violence seriously. They are trained to respond professionally and promptly to your call.
  • Apply for a Domestic Violence Order. This is an order of the court directing a person not do certain things.
  • Ask for assistance from an outside support agency
  • Actually leaving, planning to leave or telling the other person about your intention to leave can be a dangerous time. If the ideas of leaving will mean increased threats, violence and watching over you, then consider it carefully. Work out a safety or crisis plan.

It is important to consider your safety when you are considering leaving, or have left, a violent relationship. If you cannot leave the violence, there are some ways you can increase your safety. It may help to devise a safety plan that you can use if you have to leave suddenly. Information and support is available from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service – http://dvcs.org.au/safety-planning/  Contact them to discuss your individual needs, wants and situation.

Whether you are thinking about leaving your situation, have left or plan to stay, there are services available for you (and your children).

Where can you find help?

If you are a person with a disability and think you might be experiencing domestic violence there is a range of information and advice, as well as organisations in the ACT that are available to help you, or if you want to know what assistance is available or where to get help in the ACT.

See the links below.

But if you feel unsafe or feel you are at serious risk of being hurt by your partner or somebody in your family, you should ring the Police on 000 immediately.

Canberra based services:

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) provides a variety of services including 24hr telephone counselling, support and access to safe accommodation. DVCS can also tell you more about the Crisis Services Scheme which was etablished in 2014 for women (or their children) with disabilities following a collaboration between the ACT Disability and Community Services Commissioner, Women with Disabilities ACT, the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, the Victims of Crime Commissioner and DVCS. The scheme is based on the needs of women (or their children) associated with their intellectual, psychiatric, sensory or physical disability.  The scheme is available to women who choose to remain in their own home, women who choose to stay with family or friends, or women who require access to emergency accommodation.

Phone: (02) 6280 0900 (24 hour crisis line)

Website: http://www.dvcs.org.au

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre (CRCC) can provide counselling services that are free of charge and can offer victims/survivors with support and advocacy and also provide support to non-offending parents of children who have been sexually assaulted.

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (crisis line)

Website: www.crcc.org.au

Nguru

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support and Community Education Program

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (7.00am-11.00pm, 7 days a week)

Email: nguru@crcc.org.au

Forensic and Medical Assault Care (FAMSAC)

Phone: (02) 6244 2184 (Monday–Friday 9.00am–5.00pm)

Phone: (02) 6244 2222 (after hours)

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/canberra-hospital/our-services/medical-services/sexual-health/forensic-and-medical-sexual-assault

24 hour crisis support services:

1800 Respect National

1800 Respect National is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is for those experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence. Victims of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their family and friends, can call 1800RESPECT or visit the website.

Phone: 1800 737 732

Website: www.1800respect.org.au

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. Their Specialist Family Violence support and prevention is a confidential service for couples or families who are having difficulties managing conflict that may result in hostility, violence or abuse.

Phone: 1300 364 277

Website: http://www.racr.relationships.org.au/services/family-violence-prevention

Lifeline

Phone: 13 11 14

Website: www.lifeline.org.au

ACT Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team

Phone: 1800 629 354

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/mental-health-justice-health-alcohol-drug-services/#aclxrs

Where can you find out more?

Advice from other women

http://www.dvrcv.org.au/help-advice/women-disabilities/advice-other-women

This guide is based on the real experiences of women with disabilities. The information is based on interviews with women with disabilities who have experienced abuse. They tell how they coped with abuse; what they did to change the situation, and how services and professionals helped.

ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC) website

The Domestic Violence Prevention Council’s website provides advice and information advice for families or friends of someone experiencing violence; for service providers wanting advice to help others; or for people who may be using violence.

http://dvpc.org.au/advice-and-information-where-to-get-help-in-the-act/

The website also provides information for workers needing resources for helping clients experiencing family violence, or who are looking to improve their skills and knowledge in dealing with domestic and family violence, or for employers seeking workplace-related information about domestic and family violence.

http://www.dvpc.org.au/access-to-helpful-resources-about-domestic-violence/

What to say website

The What to say website is designed to give individuals and workplaces the information they need to identify sexual violence and to respond, even though it may not be easy speaking up about it. What to say gives information about safe ways to intervene when you witness sexual violence, and also provides advice on how to support someone who tells you they’ve experienced sexual violence.

http://www.whattosay.org.au

For Men

Advice for Men experiencing domestic or family violence (including sexual violence)

What do you need to know?

Although domestic and family violence is more commonly experienced by women, it can happen to men too. Violence against any person is unacceptable. People who use violence against men include their children, wives or partners, parents and siblings.

Do you…

  • Feel scared around your partner or feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’
  • Change your behaviour or your appearance to prevent your partner becoming angry
  • Limit your contact to avoid family and friends because of your partner’s behaviour
  • Make decisions and choices based on your partner’s reactions rather than your own wishes

A relationship can be abusive without there being physical violence; and may include:

  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Telling you that you can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Controlling all money spent in the household
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Forcing you to sign for loans you might not agree with
  • Questioning you about every purchase you make
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Hitting, punching, pulling by the hair, choking, pinching, pushing, stabbing or restraining you in any way (often on parts of the body that other people will not see)
  • Not letting you sleep, or eat
  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons.

There is no excuse for domestic and family violence and you are not to blame. It is important to understand that:

  • It is never your fault.
  • You don’t deserve this and you don’t have to live with it.
  • This is a crime and there are laws to protect you.
  • There are organisations that can help you.

Below are some ideas from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service that may help. Look at your situation and decide what may or may not be helpful. The length of time you have been experiencing the abuse and the level of violence being used against you may also influence what you choose to do. Many people use a combination of all sorts of things before finding something that works for them and is safe for them:

  • Think about who you could trust to talk with safely. Just talking it through with someone else can give you a bit of distance to see the situation more clearly.
  • Call a service such as DVCS to talk over your situation. You don’t have to give your name or personal details.
  • Counselling may be an option for people who use abusive and violent behaviours. This can be a long process and that person must want to change their behaviour and be open to taking responsibility for the impact of their behaviour on their partner/families.
  • Find ways to be less controlled and isolated, for example seeing your friends and/or family, taking up a course, or getting a job.
  • Getting a family member or community member to talk with the people who use abusive and violent behaviours. Whoever this person is has to be clear that using abusive and violent behaviour is never okay.
  • Join a support group or find a counsellor for yourself. This can help break down your sense of isolation and assist you to think through what is best for you and your kids.
  • Call the Police. In the ACT the Police aim to treat domestic violence seriously. They are trained to respond professionally and promptly to your call.
  • Apply for a Domestic Violence Order. This is an order of the court directing a person not do certain things.
  • Ask for assistance from an outside support agency
  • Actually leaving, planning to leave or telling the other person about your intention to leave can be a dangerous time. If the ideas of leaving will mean increased threats, violence and watching over you, then consider it carefully. Work out a safety or crisis plan.

It is important to consider your safety when you are considering leaving, or have left, a violent relationship. If you cannot leave the violence, there are some ways you can increase your safety. It may help to devise a safety plan that you can use if you have to leave suddenly. Information and support is available from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service – http://dvcs.org.au/safety-planning/  Contact them to discuss your individual needs, wants and situation.

Whether you are thinking about leaving your situation, have left or plan to stay with them, there are services available for you.

Where can you find help?

If you are male and experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, there is a range of information and advice, as well as organisations in the ACT that are available to help you.

See the links below.

But if you feel unsafe or feel you are at serious risk of being hurt by your partner or somebody in your family, you should ring the Police on 000 immediately.

Canberra based services:

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) provides a variety of services including 24hr telephone counselling, support and access to safe accommodation.

Phone: (02) 6280 0900 (24 hour crisis line)

Website: http://dvcs.org.au/your-situation/i-am-a-man/

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service supports all people, including people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual and queer who are experiencing abuse.

Website: http://dvcs.org.au/your-situation/i-am-lesbian-gay-bisexual-or-queer/.

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre (CRCC) can provide counselling services that are free of charge and can offer victims/survivors with support and advocacy and also provide support to non-offending parents of children who have been sexually assaulted.

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (crisis line)

Website: www.crcc.org.au

Service Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault (SAMSSA)

Samssa offers counselling and support to male survivors of sexual assault over the age of 16.

Phone: (02) 6247 2525

Website: www.samssa.org.au

Nguru

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support and Community Education Program

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (7.00am-11.00pm, 7 days a week)

Email: nguru@crcc.org.au

Forensic and Medical Assault Care (FAMSAC)

Phone: (02) 6244 2184 (Monday–Friday 9.00am–5.00pm)

Phone: (02) 6244 2222 (after hours)

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/canberra-hospital/our-services/medical-services/sexual-health/forensic-and-medical-sexual-assault

EveryMan (formerly Canberra Men’s Centre)

EveryMan offers counselling for men living in the ACT and region.

Phone: 6230 6999 during office hours.

Website: http://www.everyman.org.au/services/

Mensline Australia

MensLine Australia is a dedicated service for Australian men with relationship and family concerns which offers professional telephone and online support and information service.

Phone: 1300 78 99 78 24/7

Website: http://www.mensline.org.au/improving-relationships/are-you-experiencing-violence-or-abuse-in-your-relationship

24 hour crisis support services:

1800 Respect National

 1800 Respect National is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is for those experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence. Victims of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their family and friends, can call 1800RESPECT or visit the website.

Phone: 1800 737 732

Website: www.1800respect.org.au

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. Their Specialist Family Violence support and prevention is a confidential service for couples or families who are having difficulties managing conflict that may result in hostility, violence or abuse.

Phone: 1300 364 277

Website: http://www.racr.relationships.org.au/services/family-violence-prevention

Life Line

Phone: 13 11 14

Website: www.lifeline.org.au

ACT Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team

Phone: 1800 629 354

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/mental-health-justice-health-alcohol-drug-services/#aclxrs

Where can you find out more?

ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC) website

The Domestic Violence Prevention Council’s website provides advice and information advice for families or friends of someone experiencing violence; for service providers wanting advice to help others; or for people who may be using violence.

http://dvpc.org.au/advice-and-information-where-to-get-help-in-the-act/

The website also provides information for workers needing resources for helping clients experiencing family violence, or who are looking to improve their skills and knowledge in dealing with domestic and family violence, or for employers seeking workplace-related information about domestic and family violence.

http://www.dvpc.org.au/access-to-helpful-resources-about-domestic-violence/

What To Say Website

The What To Say website is designed to give individuals and workplaces the information they need to identify sexual violence and to respond, even though it may not be easy speaking up about it. What To Say gives information about safe ways to intervene when you witness sexual violence, and also provides advice on how to support someone who tells you they’ve experienced sexual violence.

http://www.whattosay.org.au

For Older People

Advice for Older People experiencing domestic or family violence (including sexual violence)

What do you need to know?

Domestic and family violence is a crime. Domestic violence is where your partner, ex-partner or a family member uses direct or threatened abuse which causes damage to you or your children or causes you to live in fear.

Elder abuse is a form of family or domestic violence that is experienced by older people. Like domestic and family violence, elder abuse is about one person having power and control over another person.

Do you…

  • Feel scared around that person or feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’
  • Change your behaviour or your appearance to prevent that person becoming angry
  • Limit your contact to avoid family and friends because of their behaviour
  • Make decisions and choices based on their reactions rather than your own wishes.

Elder abuse is often not as readily identified as abuse by other family members and workers. The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (http://www.dvrcv.org.au/help-advice/elder-abuse-and-family-violence ) says it may include:

Physical abuse

  • Inappropriate handling
  • Taking away or controlling an aid such as moving a wheelchair or walker out of reach
  • Using medication to sedate
  • Providing care in a cruel or rough manner

Sexual abuse

  • Sexual assault
  • Force or coercion to take part in unwanted sexual activity
  • Withholding needed care in exchange for sexual favours

Psychological/emotional abuse

  • Denying the right to make decisions due to their cognitive state
  • Convincing the older person that they couldn’t cope without the carer
  • Denying access to ‘small pleasures’
  • Talking about ‘how hard it is to provide care’ in front of you

Financial abuse

  • Using a power of attorney to withhold money or misuse finances
  • Not allowing you to keep or carry their own money
  • Withholding knowledge of their bank account balance or household bills paid

Neglect

  • Failing to help you with toiletting, washing or feeding;
  • Withholding medication, personal or medical care
  • Withdrawing care or equipment that immobilises or leaves you without a way to call for help
  • Refusing or delaying assistance following a personal accident or spillage
  • Receiving the career’s pension without providing the care

Many elder abuse victims feel that they can’t let anyone know about their abuse because of:

  • Fear of more abuse, shame or humiliation
  • Loss of affection or love for abuser
  • Concerned about repercussions
  • Family loyalty
  • Fear of being moved out of home
  • Threats from perpetrator
  • Not being aware of options and resources
  • Only alternative accommodation may be residential care
  • Loss of entire social network
  • Guilt
  • Not being able to leave the home to disclose the abuse
  • Potential loss of relationships with adult children or grandchildren.

There is no excuse for domestic and family violence including elder abuse, and you are not to blame. It is important to understand that:

  • It is never your fault.
  • You don’t deserve this and you don’t have to live with it.
  • This is a crime and there are laws to protect you.
  • There are organisations that can help you.

Where can you find help?

There is a range of information and advice, as well as organisations in the ACT that are available to help you if you are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, including elder abuse  or if you want to know what assistance is available or where to get help in the ACT.

See the links below.

But if you feel unsafe or feel you are at serious risk of being hurt by your partner or somebody in your family, you should ring the Police on 000 immediately.

Canberra based services:

Older Persons Abuse Prevention Referral and Information Line (APRIL)

The Abuse Prevention Referral and Information Line (APRIL) is a confidential telephone service for callers who want to discuss elder abuse issues and seek advice and referral on options. The service operates during business hours.

Phone: 6205 3535.

Website: www.ageing.act.gov.au

Council on the Ageing (ACT) Seniors Information Line

COTA ACT provides a telephone line and face to face advisory serves at our office in the Hughes Community Centre, Wisdom Street, Hughes (just by the Hughes shops).  They have available on a regular basis a legal service and a service to reduce the incidents of elder abuse in the ACT.

Phone: These sessions need to be booked by calling 62823777.

Website: http://www.cotaact.org.au/services/

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) provides a variety of services including 24hr telephone counselling, support and access to safe accommodation.

Phone: (02) 6280 0900 (24 hour crisis line)

Website: http://www.dvcs.org.au

24 hour crisis support services:

1800 Respect National

1800 Respect National is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is for those experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence. Victims of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their family and friends, can call 1800RESPECT or visit the website.

Phone: 1800 737 732

Website: www.1800respect.org.au

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. Their Specialist Family Violence support and prevention is a confidential service for couples or families who are having difficulties managing conflict that may result in hostility, violence or abuse.

Phone: 1300 364 277

Website: http://www.racr.relationships.org.au/services/family-violence-prevention

Lifeline

Phone: 13 11 14

Website: www.lifeline.org.au

Where can you find out more?

ADACAS

The A.C.T. Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS), is an independent, not-for-profit, advocacy organisation helping people with disabilities, older people and their carers.

Phone: 1800 629 354

Website : http://www.adacas.org.au/older-persons

Community Services Directorate

Website: http://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/wac/ageing/elder_abuse_prevention__and__assistance

For members of the LGBTIQ Community

Advice for members of the LGBTIQ Community experiencing domestic or family violence (including sexual violence)

What do you need to know?

Domestic Violence is a crime. Domestic violence is where your partner, ex-partner or a family member uses direct or threatened abuse which causes damage to you or your children or causes you to live in fear.

Do you…

  • Feel scared around your partner or feel like you are ‘walking on eggshells’
  • Change your behaviour or your appearance to prevent your partner becoming angry
  • Limit your contact to avoid family and friends because of your partner’s behaviour
  • Make decisions and choices based on your partner’s reactions rather than your own wishes

A relationship can be abusive without there being physical violence; and may include:

  • Threatening to “out” your sexual orientation or gender identity to family members, employers, community members and others.
  • Saying that no one will help you because you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or that for this reason, you “deserve” the abuse.
  • Justifying the abuse with the notion that a partner is not “really” lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (i.e. the victim may once have had/may still have relationships, or express a gender identity, inconsistent with the abuser’s definitions of these terms). This can be used both as a tool in verbal and emotional abuse as well as to further the isolation of a victim from the community.
  • Monopolising supports by manipulating friends and family supports and generating sympathy and trust so you are cut off from them.
  • Portraying the violence as mutual and even consensual, or as an expression of masculinity or some other “desirable” trait.
  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Telling you that you can never do anything right
  • Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
  • Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Controlling all money spent in the household
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Forcing you to sign for loans you might not agree with
  • Questioning you about every purchase you make
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Hitting, punching, pulling by the hair, choking, pinching, pushing, stabbing or restraining you in any way (often on parts of the body that other people will not see)
  • Not letting you sleep, or eat
  • Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
  • If you are pregnant, being jealous of the pregnancy or child, or of the extra attention you may experience from family, friends and health care providers.

There is no excuse for domestic and family violence and you are not to blame. It is important to understand that:

  • It is never your fault.
  • You don’t deserve this and you don’t have to live with it.
  • This is a crime and there are laws to protect you.
  • There are organisations that can help you.

Below are some ideas from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service that may help. Look at your situation and decide what may or may not be helpful. The length of time you have been experiencing the abuse and the level of violence being used against you may also influence what you choose to do. Many people use a combination of all sorts of things before finding something that works for them and is safe for them:

  • Think about who you could trust to talk with safely. Just talking it through with someone else can give you a bit of distance to see the situation more clearly.
  • Call a service such as DVCS to talk over your situation. You don’t have to give your name or personal details.
  • Counselling may be an option for people who use abusive and violent behaviours. This can be a long process and that person must want to change their behaviour and be open to taking responsibility for the impact of their behaviour on their partner/families.
  • Find ways to be less controlled and isolated, for example seeing your friends and/or family, taking up a course, or getting a job.
  • Getting a family member or community member to talk with the people who use abusive and violent behaviours. Whoever this person is has to be clear that using abusive and violent behaviour is never okay.
  • Join a support group or find a counsellor for yourself. This can help break down your sense of isolation and assist you to think through what is best for you and your kids.
  • Call the Police. In the ACT the Police aim to treat domestic violence seriously. They are trained to respond professionally and promptly to your call.
  • Apply for a Domestic Violence Order. This is an order of the court directing a person not do certain things.
  • Ask for assistance from an outside support agency
  • Actually leaving, planning to leave or telling the other person about your intention to leave can be a dangerous time. If the ideas of leaving will mean increased threats, violence and watching over you, then consider it carefully. Work out a safety or crisis plan.

It is important to consider your safety when you are considering leaving, or have left, a violent relationship. If you cannot leave the violence, there are some ways you can increase your safety. It may help to devise a safety plan that you can use if you have to leave suddenly. Information and support is available from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service – http://dvcs.org.au/safety-planning/  Contact them to discuss your individual needs, wants and situation.

Whether you are thinking about leaving your situation, have left or plan to stay with them, there are services available for you (and your children).

Where can you find help?

There is a range of information and advice, as well as organisations in the ACT that are available to help you if you are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, or if you want to know what assistance is available or where to get help in the ACT. These services take violence in same-sex relationships seriously, and your confidentiality will be protected and you will be treated with respect.

See the links below.

But if you feel unsafe or feel you are at serious risk of being hurt by your partner or somebody in your family, you should ring the Police on 000 immediately.

Canberra based services:

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) provides a variety of services including 24hr telephone counselling, support and access to safe accommodation.

Phone: (02) 6280 0900 (24 hour crisis line)

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service supports all people, including people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual and queer who are experiencing abuse.

Website: http://dvcs.org.au/your-situation/i-am-lesbian-gay-bisexual-or-queer/

Aids Action Council

For counselling and support in the ACT for LGBTIQ people you can contact or visit the Aids Action Council.

Phone: 6257 2855

Website:. http://aidsaction.org.au/aids-action-council-services/counselling-and-referrals.html

A Gender Agenda

A Gender Agenda provides support and advocacy to intersex people, transgender people and other people who do not fit cultural assumptions about the male/female binary.

Phone: 6162 1924

Website: http://genderrights.org.au/services

National Police Assistance line

Some Police stations have an LGBTI liaison Officer (known as GLLO/Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer)

Phone: 131 444

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre (CRCC) can provide counselling services that are free of charge and can offer victims/survivors with support and advocacy and also provide support to non-offending parents of children who have been sexually assaulted.

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (crisis line)

Website: www.crcc.org.au

Nguru

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support and Community Education Program

Phone: (02) 6247 2525 (7.00am-11.00pm, 7 days a week)

Email: nguru@crcc.org.au

Forensic and Medical Assault Care (FAMSAC)

Phone: (02) 6244 2184 (Monday–Friday 9.00am–5.00pm)

Phone: (02) 6244 2222 (after hours)

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/canberra-hospital/our-services/medical-services/sexual-health/forensic-and-medical-sexual-assault

National Police Assistance line

Some Police stations have an LGBTI liaison Officer (known as GLLO/Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer)

Phone: 131 444

24 hour crisis support services:

1800 Respect National

 1800 Respect National is a confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is for those experiencing the impacts of sexual assault, domestic and family violence. Victims of sexual assault, domestic and family violence, as well as their family and friends, can call 1800RESPECT or visit the website.

Phone: 1800 737 732

Website: www.1800respect.org.au

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities. Their Specialist Family Violence support and prevention is a confidential service for couples or families who are having difficulties managing conflict that may result in hostility, violence or abuse.

Phone: 1300 364 277

Website: http://www.racr.relationships.org.au/services/family-violence-prevention

Life Line

Phone: 13 11 14

Website: www.lifeline.org.au

ACT Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team

Phone: 1800 629 354

Website: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/mental-health-justice-health-alcohol-drug-services/#aclxrs

Where can you find out more?

Another Closet

An online resource with information about LGBTIQ domestic and family violence.

www.anothercloset.com.au

Mensline Australia

MensLine Australia is a dedicated service for Australian men with relationship and family concerns which offers professional telephone and online support and information service.  Their website conatins information about

Phone: 1300 78 99 78 24/7

Website: http://www.mensline.org.au/same-sex-relationships/index

Organisation Intersex International Australia

For additional resources and information for intersex people you can visit the Organisation Intersex International Australia.

Website: https://oii.org.au/

Say It Out Loud – Film “Red Flags”

website Say It Out Loud. The website provides information, support and resources to address abuse in LGBTIQ relationships as well as information about what a healthy relationship looks like and tips on how to have one.

Helping LGBTIQ people understand the early warning signs of domestic violence is the focus of a new film featuring Logie Award winning actor Brenna Harding. Produced by ACON, NSW’s leading LGBTI health organisation, Red Flags is a short film that explores how the warning signs of domestic violence can appear early in a relationship.

To watch the film Red Flags and for more information about domestic and family violence in LGBTIQ communities please visit www.sayitoutloud.org.au.