If you KNOW someone is in danger please call police immediately on 000.

If you need more information about how NT Police can help see here.


The most important things you can do to support someone you think is being abused, or has told you that they are being abused is:


  • listen to her

  • make sure she knows you believe her

  • don’t interrupt her or judge her

  • don’t try to explain or justify the behaviours she is telling you about

  • make sure she knows that the violence is not her fault

  • help her to make the choices she needs to make – don’t tell her to leave if it's not something she is ready, willing or able to do (if it’s an emergency call 000)

  • reassure her that you're there to help her[1]  


Some of the practical things you can do to help include:


  • Don’t question whether you should get involved. Everyone can do something to prevent violence and abuse in our community.[2]


  • Ask her what she needs most right now – it might be just company, or it could be more practical things like taking care of the kids, packing a bag, or calling for help or support on her behalf.


  • Try to assess what the most immediate risk is and help her to make decisions based on that. Getting a woman and her children to safety is the first and most important priority. Other things can be dealt with later, when they are safe and in a supportive environment.  

  • If there is not an emergency right now, help her to make plans about what to do if and when there is one. Where will they go? Can she have some bags packed and ready for her and the children in advance, with things like clothes, school things, toys and medications in it? How will they get out? Do they have a contact person, a reason to be going out, or a code word they can use in an emergency as a way of escaping? What money is available to be put aside in the event of them leaving?



It is normal to think she should leave if someone is being violent or abusive towards her, but everyone’s situation is unique. Not all women are ready, willing or able to leave immediately, or sometimes ever. A lot of violence happens when a woman is trying to leave a relationship and gets worse because of that.


Some of the reasons someone might stay in a violent or abusive relationship include:

  • Fear for the safety of her children

  • Fear that worse things will happen to her or them

  • A belief in their commitment to each other and her love for her partner

  • Worry about how her leaving would impact on their friends, family and community

  • A perceived lack of options including money, accommodation and support

  • Shame, insecurity and a belief that the violence is her fault



Everyone can do something to prevent violence and abuse in our community, but we do not have to do it alone.


You can download and print this page in a fact sheet for easy reference offline: 

Call 000
in an emergency
Call 1800 Respect
for confidential information, counselling and support
Call us  on 08 8952 6075 at WoSSCA
For information, crisis accommodation and support