Family violence can be carried out by a family member or anyone you are in a close relationship with. For example, it could be a partner or ex-partner, son or daughter, friend, flatmate or other family member. They don’t have to be living you with.
Family violence takes many forms, including:
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- psychological abuse, including intimidation, harassment and online bullying
- damage to property
- financial abuse
- threats to carry out any of these types of abuse.
Family violence can also involve children. The law can protect children from people who cause them to see and hear violence, or put them at risk of seeing and hearing violence.
Your safety and protection
If you are in immediate danger dial 111 and ask for Police. If you haven’t reported the crime to the police – or don’t feel ready to report it yet – you can still get help and support.
Family violence support services can support you to report the crime (if you want to do this), help you get a protection order and give you information on how to keep safe.
The Police and courts can make referrals to safety services and orders to help keep you and your family safe:
- The Police can issue a short-term Police Safety Order when they believe on reasonable grounds that family violence has occurred or might occur.
- You can apply for a protection order and/or an urgent parenting order(external link) (without notice) from the Family Court. These can usually be made within 24 hours.
See safety orders for more information about Police Safety Orders and protection orders and how to apply.
Depending on the seriousness of the violence, you may be able to get a financial grant to help you cover some of the costs related to the crime. To check if you can get a grant, and to find out how to apply, contact Victim Support on 0800 842 846.
You may also be able to get financial support from ACC. Ask your support agency to find out more, or call the ACC Claims Helpline on 0800 101 996.
More information about family violence
- call Women’s Refuge on 0800 733 843 for free, any time
- call the Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 456 450
- see the list of government and community services for people affected by domestic violence on this website, or
- call the Victims Information Line on 0800 650 654 to find out about support agencies in your area.