Domestic and Family Violence

 

Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone…

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 000 and ask for the police.

You can talk to a specialist domestic and family violence counsellor 24 hours, 7 days a week by calling the 1800Respect National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732. Counsellors are also available online.

What is Domestic and Family Violence?

Domestic and family violence happens when one person in a relationship uses violent or abusive behaviour to control another person.

Domestic and family violence includes:

  • Physical abuse including hitting, punching, slapping, pulling hair, biting
  • Damaging property, including hurting or killing pets
  • Intimidation, making someone feel small
  • Controlling behaviour (e.g. stopping someone from seeing family and friends)
  • Harassment, including by phone, text message, letters, on Facebook and other social media
  • Stalking – following, watching or waiting for someone
  • Economic abuse (e.g. taking money, witholding money, stopping someone from working)
  • Sexual Assault

Domestic and family violence does not just happen between husbands and wives. It can happen in lots of close relationships, like:

  • Defacto relationships (people who live together like husband and wife but are not married)
  • Same sex relationships
  • Relatives – including mothers, fathers, siblings, aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins, children, step-children and step-parents, in-laws and relatives Aboriginal way
  • People who are or have been dating, even if casually and even if the relationship is not sexual
  • Ex-partners

Mandatory Reporting

In the Northern Territory, all adults are required by law to report domestic and family violence if they think someone has or is likely to suffer serious physical harm because of the violence.

Reports must be made to the police by calling 131 444.  In an emergency, call 000.

It is a criminal offence to not make a report if you reasonably believe that someone has or will likely suffer serious physical harm.

More information about mandatory reporting is available on the Northern Territory Government’s Stop Family Violence website.

How can CAWLS help?

If you are experiencing domestic and family violence, you can apply for a domestic violence order against the offender.  A domestic violence order is an order of the Court telling the offender to stay away from you and/or to stop hurting you.

CAWLS is a free and confidential legal service for all women in Central Australia

We can provide advice about domestic violence orders and how they work, and can help you apply to the Court to get a domestic violence order.

Call 1800 684 055  to make an appointment, or drop in to see us at our Alice Springs office at any time.

We can also assist with referrals to support agencies to make sure you are safe.

 Further information and support

  • Alice Springs Women’s Shelter: support for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence, including emergency accomodation.
  • 1800RESPECT: national sexual assault and domestic and family violence counselling service. Call 1800 737 732 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Information booklets about domestic violence orders: for people needing protection and for defendants (produced by the Northern Territory Government)
  • Stop Family Violence: information about reporting family violence and mandatory reporting.
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CAWLS thanks the Law Society Public Purposes Trust for supporting the language translations on this site.