Acts of domestic and family violence are against the law in Australia and if someone is being violent towards you they are breaking the law. Violence and abuse are not just physical and bruises and scars are not the only signs that someone has been abused.


According to the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services, ‘…domestic and family violence includes behaviour or threats that aim to control a partner by causing fear or threatening their safety’.


According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the United Nations has also defined domestic and family violence as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.’


So, what does that mean in a practical sense? Well there are many different types of abuse and this table aims to break them down more clearly. If you recognise any of these behaviours as happening to you or someone else you should talk to someone to get advice, help or support.

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


Women’s Safety Services of Central Australia (WoSSCA) is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation that operates on a feminist framework and is committed to assisting and enabling women and children experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence.

We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land we work on, as the first people of this country. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders past, present and emerging.

Our vision is for greater safety, respect and dignity for all women and their children in Central Australia.

About us:

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PO Box 3219

Alice Springs, NT,  0870