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When someone you know is experiencing family and domestic violence, you may want to help but don’t know what to do. The way you talk and listen to them makes all the difference.
It's common to feel unsure about the best things to say and do, but you should never feel too scared to say something.
There are some simple things you can do to support them:
- Believe them.
- Take their fears seriously.
- Make sure they have privacy to be able to tell their story.
- Respect their right to have control over what they say and the actions they take.
What to look for
Below are some signs someone may be experiencing family and domestic violence:
- They seem afraid of someone close to them, for example their partner, carer, adult child or parent.
- They stop seeing friends or family.
- They’re continually harassed with phone calls or texts.
- They’ve become anxious, depressed, quieter or have lost confidence.
- They have unexplained bruises, sprains or cuts on their body.
- They have limited or no control over the way they dress, their activities, their use of technology or contact with friends and family.
Easy English resources
It can be difficult for people experiencing family and domestic violence to identify it as abuse. If you or someone you care for need advice, there are Easy English resources and videos about family and domestic violence in Auslan available. You can find these as part of the Disability Support Toolkit on the 1800RESPECT website.
Who to contact
If you suspect someone you know may be affected by family and domestic violence, you can use the following services to find out more information about how you can offer support.
1800RESPECT is a national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling and information referral service. It's open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The 1800RESPECT website also has an online chat function.
If you need to talk to someone, you can call 13 11 14 or chat using the Lifeline website. It's a 24-hour support service.
Where to get help
If someone you care for is experiencing family and domestic violence, we have information on where to get help.