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Your safety remains our priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Essential services are staying open to help you stay safe. This includes domestic and family violence supports, counselling, crisis accommodation, Police and courts.

Our Domestic Violence Line is always here for you. Call us on 1800 65 64 63 – we are available 24/7.

If you or your family are in immediate danger, please call the Police on Triple Zero (000).

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Domestic and Family Violence and COVID-19

As people cooperate with social distancing directions, self-isolation and quarantine, there is an associated risk that domestic and family violence will increase.

Domestic and family violence includes different types of abuse. A person doesn’t need to experience all of these types of abuse for it to be a crime under the law. The abuse can include:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Spiritual or religious abuse
  • Reproductive abuse
  • Image-based abuse

Look out for warning signs of abusive behaviour, including if a partner or family member:

  1. tries to control you
  2. pressures you to do things you don’t want to do
  3. deliberately hurts you
  4. acts extremely jealous
  5. puts you down
  6. threatens you

NSW Domestic Violence Line

Please call the NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63 if you are experiencing domestic and family violence.

We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Interpreters and Text Telephone (TTY) are available.

We can:

  • explain services and supports available to you
  • help you with your safety plan
  • refer you to support services such as counselling
  • help you contact the police, courts or lawyers
  • help you find a safe place to stay
  • help with transport for you and your children.

Other support lines

Victims Services

Victims Services provides support to victims of crime, and families and friends of missing people. Victims Services continues to operate the Victims Access Line and forms for victim support can be lodged online. For more information visit the Victims Services page.

Finding a safe place to stay

You do not have to stay in an unsafe home. There are supports available and safe places you can stay.

If you need somewhere safe to stay urgently:

  • Link2Home – Call 1800 152 152 if you have nowhere to stay. Link2Home is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. They can help with emergency temporary and crisis accommodation, including refuges.
  • Refuges will remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services are following NSW Health regulations to maintain social distancing.

Support services to help you stay safe in the long term:

Helping someone else stay safe

If you have urgent concerns for a person’s safety, call the Police on Triple Zero (000).

People may be at even greater risk of experiencing domestic and family violence at this time. Families are experiencing extra stress and usual support networks may not be available.

If you are concerned someone you know may be experiencing domestic and family violence, call the NSW Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63. We can provide advice on how to identify and support victim-survivors.

There are practical things every member of the community can do to help.

Check in

Physical distancing does not mean you cannot stay connected. Check in on the people in your life by calling, texting, messaging on social media or videoing.

Be aware that a controlling partner may be monitoring a person’s devices.

Be sensitive to how the person might be feeling and try not to be critical or judgemental when you speak. 'Just leaving' is not always a safe option.

Don’t push someone to talk if they seem uncomfortable, but let them know you’re there for them if they need to talk.

Offer practical support

Ask the people in your life how you can help them during this time. Ask when and how you should contact them to keep them safe.

You could also offer to store copies of important documents, or an emergency bag, in case a person does choose to leave.

Let people know help is available

If someone tells you they feel unsafe or are experiencing violence, believe them.

Let them know help is available. The following support lines are free and available 24 hours, 7 days a week:

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria also has a helpful guide for friends and families of people experiencing domestic and family violence.

Help for people worried about their own violence

It’s normal to feel stressed in a crisis, but it’s never okay to use violence or control. If you’re worried about how you’re feeling or behaving, you can get the support you need to help you change.

Contact Men's Referral Service by calling 1300 766 491 if you are worried about your own behaviour.

Find out more about supports available on the DCJ website.

How we are responding during COVID-19

The NSW Government continues to adapt as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. This includes various justice, housing and policing responses to combat domestic violence.

Domestic violence survivors and their families make up a significant proportion of those who are, or at risk of, homelessness. Additional supports will now be available during the pandemic as a result of the government’s recent funding announcements:

  • $14.3 million investment to increase the supply and flexibility of temporary accommodation across NSW, including accommodation suitable for self-isolation
  • $20 million commitment to accelerate pathways for existing clients and priority social housing applicants to secure stable housing in the private rental market – including more than 350 Rent Choice Start Safely packages dedicated to women and children escaping domestic and family violence
  • financial support covering the costs of additional staffing for homelessness providers, such as casual workers or overtime.

In the Local Court, the Chief Magistrate has made the following changes:

  • increased use of audio visual link technology
  • restricting physical attendance at court, where legally represented
  • streamlining bail processes, localised to certain metro and regional local courts
  • defended hearings where the accused is in custody, adjourned for eight weeks
  • Police providing court dates of three months from issuing Field Court Attendance Notices.

Provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) can remain in place for up to six months, if the court cannot consider them earlier. This coincides with recent changes that extend the default duration of ADVOs made by a court from one year to two years.

For more information read the Domestic Violence Support media release.

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Last updated: 07 May 2020