In Perth, Western Australia, call Salvation Army 0437 654 996 for help.

About family violence

Abuse in relationships is more common than many people think and mostly affects women and their children. Domestic violence does not mean simply having an argument with a partner. It means that one partner tries to dominate the other through physical harm, criticisms, demands, threats, or sexual pressure. This also includes psychological and emotional abuse which can be equally as harmful.

For the victim and her children, this behaviour can be very dangerous, frightening, confusing and damaging.

Abuse in a relationship is never acceptable, regardless of the circumstances, and is never the fault of the victim. Abuse is not caused by alcohol, or stress, or by the victim’s behaviour. Abuse happens because the abuser wants to control and manipulate the other person. Physical and sexual assault, threats and stalking are crimes and can be reported to the police.

Signs that someone is being abused

  • She seems afraid of her partner or is always very anxious to please him or her.
  • She has stopped seeing her friends or family, or cuts phone conversations short when her partner is in the room.
  • Her partner often criticises her or humiliates her in front of other people.
  • She says her partner pressures or forces her to do sexual things.
  • Her partner often orders her about or makes all the decisions (for example, her partner controls all the money, tells her who she can see and what she can do).
  • She often talks about her partner’s ‘jealousy’, ‘bad temper’ or ‘possessiveness’.
  • She has become anxious or depressed, has lost her confidence, or is unusually quiet.
  • She has physical injuries (bruises, broken bones, sprains, cuts etc). She may give unlikely explanations for physical injuries.
  • Her children seem afraid of her partner, have behaviour problems, or are very withdrawn or anxious.
  • She is reluctant to leave her children with her partner.
  •  After she has left the relationship, her partner is constantly calling her, harassing her, following her, coming to her house or waiting outside.

If you notice any of the above signs make sure to:

  • Listen to what she has to say.
  • Believe what she tells you.
  • Take the abuse seriously.
  • Help her to recognise the abuse 
  • Tell her you think she has been brave 
  • Help to build her confidence in herself.
  • Help her to understand that the abuse is not her fault 
  • Help her to protect herself. 
  • Help her to think about what she can do 
  • Offer practical
  • Respect her right to make her own decisions
  • Maintain some level of regular contact with her. 
  • Find out about Intervention Orders 
  • Tell her about the services available. 
  • Keep supporting her after she has left the relationship. 

If you need help contact 1800 RESPECT. For more information please visit

The information on this page was adapted from