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Some conflict is normal in relationships, but abuse is never ok. Abuse is behaviour that causes physical, psychological, or verbal harm to people, and it is sometimes used to gain power and control over another person. To learn more, read types of abuse.
Women’s rights are human rights. Preventing domestic and family violence in a community will strengthen the community. Research has shown that violence against women will continue to occur in places with attitudes that see women as less than equal to men.
No type of violence is ever okay. Forcing anyone into any form of behaviour against their will is not acceptable and against the law.
False claims of domestic and family violence or sexual assault are extremely rare. Domestic and family violence and sexual assault are under-reported to the police. People are often reluctant to report it for many reasons, including fear of not being believed.
There are many reasons why a person may be unable to leave an abusive relationship. Many victim-survivors want to leave, but they can’t because:
Victim-survivors are most at risk of severe violence and death when they try to leave or just after they leave their abusive situation.
No. It can happen to family members, people that live in the same house, married and unmarried couples and ex-partners. It can happen to anyone, regardless of their cultural background, religion, gender, sexuality, or economic status.
No. Children have the right to have a relationship with both parents, even if their parents are separated. However, the time a person using violence is permitted to spend with their children can change if children are at risk of harm. Every case is different, and legal advice should be sought from a lawyer experienced in Family Law. Read more about how domestic and family violence is considered in Family Law matters, and how arrangements for children are decided following separation.
Using violence is a choice. There are many people who have experienced domestic and family violence in childhood and do not use violence when they are adults.
You can also download these guidelines in a PDF format by clicking the following link: Did you know? Some facts about domestic and family violence (PDF, 99.4 KB)
21 Nov 2022
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.
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