Communities and Justice

Domestic and family violence (DFV)

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.

You are always allowed to leave your home to access domestic and family violence support services or to stay safe from harm.

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

Interpreters are available. If you are hearing impaired, call the National Relay Service on 133 677.

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

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 are available. If you are hearing impaired, call the National Relay Service on 133 677.

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 child.

Other support lines

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) – support for any person affected by domestic and family violence.
  • MensLine Australia (1300 78 99 78) – support for men experiencing domestic and family violence.
  • Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) – support for children affected by family violence.
  • Lifeline Australia (13 11 14)  – support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
  • NSW Mental Health Line (1800 011 511) – professional help and advice for your mental health.
  • NSW Rape Crisis: 1800 424 017 - Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia provides counselling for people of all genders whose lives have been impacted by sexual assault. They provide telephone, online, and some face to face counselling. Their services are free and available (24 hours/7 days).

Victims Services

COVID-19 has impacted various services across the Department and Victims Services resulting in some changes to the way that they operate.

If you need to contact Victims Services, you can call Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

Call Victims Services:

Email Victims Services:

Business hours are Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm.

You can continue to lodge online forms for victims support

Please visit the Victims Services website for further information.

Find information on Domestic and Family Violence supports including the NSW Domestic Violence Line, how we are responding during COVID-19 and other important services.

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

Domestic violence victim-survivors will have more vital help available during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the NSW and Federal Governments today investing more than $21 million to boost frontline services and other supports.

The investment comprises $12.8 million from the NSW Government and $8.8 million from the Commonwealth Government.

The funding will deliver the following additional supports:

Frontline support services

  • Funding for frontline specialist domestic violence services to respond to increasing demand and complexity of cases;
  • A boost for the 24/7 NSW Domestic Violence Line that provides crisis counselling and support referrals;
  • Increasing staff at Legal Aid’s NSW Domestic Violence hotline, while bolstering legal information available online;
  • More service capacity at the state’s Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services; and,
  • Resources for targeted responses to especially vulnerable groups like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people with disability, multicultural communities, LGBTIQ communities and women living in rural and remote areas.

Escaping violent homes

  • Access to more funding for the State’s 84 women’s refuges for additional staff, more training, and basic supports like food vouchers or safe phones for victims;
  • Funding to allow companion animals to be accommodated in women’s refuges
    or animal shelters so women can leave violent homes without worrying their pet will be harmed; and
  • A six-month ‘pop-up’ safe house in the Manly area to give highly vulnerable women and their children temporary and emergency accommodation.

Staying safe at home

  • More duress alarm devices for victims to access if they’re remaining in their home as part of the Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) program;
  • Improved access to services for SHLV clients; and
  • Temporary accommodation for perpetrators if they’re removed from a property by police and have nowhere else to stay (or based on protection orders) so that victims can remain safely at home.

Holding perpetrators to account

  • A boost in funding for men’s behaviour change programs to respond to heightened demand while adjusting their service delivery to work remotely, if required;
  • More support for No To Violence to expand their training and support for frontline staff who deliver perpetrator programs across NSW; and
  • Funding for an app that helps perpetrators understand and therefore comply with Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs).

Raising awareness

  • Extension of Toolbox Talks – a program that educates and empowers thousands of workers in the construction and mining industries to identify and report abuse; and
  • A digital campaign to support victims and encourage the community to report domestic violence.

Download media release - COVID-19 funding to boost domestic violence support (PDF, 190.5 KB)

Last updated:

19 Sep 2023