Family Violence
July 25, 2023
Crime Prevention
What to do if you or someone you know is experiencing family violence

What to do if you or someone you know is experiencing family violence

If you or someone you know or care about is in an unhealthy, abusive or violent relationship, there are some simple things you can do to get help or provide support.

Whatever your situation, it’s important to know that help is available. There are a range of support services you can reach out to if you’re experiencing violence at home or in a close relationship, or if you suspect that a friend, family member or neighbour may be experiencing family violence.

If you are experiencing violence

  • Call Triple Zero (000) if you need police or an ambulance immediately.
  • If English is not your first language, call Triple Zero (000) and tell them your language. They will connect an interpreter.
  • Reach out to one of the support services listed here.
  • If you can’t report the violence or seek help yourself, tell a friend, family member or neighbour as they can contact police or a support service on your behalf.

If you suspect family violence

It can be hard to tell if someone is experiencing family violence – there may be no obvious signs. Safe Steps provides some signs you can and should look out for.

If you are concerned for the safety of a neighbour, friend or family member, you can reach out to police or one of the support services listed here. It doesn’t have to be an emergency.

However, if you become aware that a person is in immediate or urgent danger because of family violence (for example, you overhear loud threats of physical harm made against your neighbour by their partner or parent), you should immediately call Triple Zero (000).

What happens if I call for help?

If you contact police, they will take steps to ensure that you and your family (or the person you are calling about) are protected and will connect you with support services.

These services are available to help people experiencing violence feel safe and supported and to  assist people using violence to change their behaviour.

Making a safety plan

Safety planning is thinking about things you can do to be safer when living with violence or abuse. 

The best way to make a safety plan is with the help of a support service. Some of the things you may wish to consider include:

  • Speak to neighbours you know and trust. Ask them to call police on Triple Zero (000) if they hear violence or abuse.
  • Have a safe place to go if you need to leave.
  • Keep a list of important numbers in your wallet or mobile phone that you can call in an emergency, such as local taxis, crisis accommodation and the local police station.

Get Police Assistance

For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
Call: 000
To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
Call: 131 444
To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000

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