If you are unsafe or at risk at home, call 000 or for crisis accommodation and help 24/7:
Link2Home 1800 152 152
DV Hotline 1800 65 64 63
It is recommended if you can, to plan your leaving as it is safer and less chance of being found. Women leave a violent relationship to become safe however; it is important to remember that this safety may not occur immediately. Separation can be the time of greatest danger.
What you can do now to make it safer for you and your children.
Safety during an abusive incident
- Be aware of all exit routes and safety areas for you and your children.
- Seek support from neighbours to call the police if they hear a disturbance.
- Develop a safety plan for your children; e.g. how to call 000, how to safely exit the house an how to get help.
- Phone police as soon as you can.
- Keep a diary of violent incidents; including dates.
Safety at Work
- Inform someone at your workplace about your current situation.
- Avoid taking the same route twice.
- Develop a safety plan for arriving and leaving work.
Family safety pack for CALD women with information on Australia’s laws regarding domestic and family violence, sexual assault and forced marriage are available in community languages. These packs explain your rights, including y providing information on the family violence visa provisions and available support. Please follow this link to the webpage so that you can download the safety packs in many different languages.
Safety When Preparing to Leave
A safety plan is about taking proactive steps to improve you and your children’s safety and need to include safety strategies for home, work, school and community.
- Contact the Domestic Violence Hotline 1800 65 64 63 or Link2Home on 1800 152 152 and arrange safe accommodation for you and your children
- Contact RSPCA 02 9782 4408 or DV Hotline 1800 65 64 63 to arrange safe accommodation for your pets
- Seek support from a domestic violence worker and consider getting an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO). Speak directly to the Domestic Violence Liaison Officer at your local Police station.
- Arrange your transportation in advance
- Practice travelling to your intended safe area
- Prepare and safely store a leaving package with money, documents, clothes, spare keys
- Seek legal advice
- Talk to your workplace HR – you can take DFV leave
- Only tell trusted people of your intended new location
Links to help plan a safe escape –
What to take when you leave
The safety of you and your children is paramount. Take the items below only if it is safe to do so. It is important to remember you may be able to return with Police support at a later time to collect your possessions.
- Driver’s licence, bank details, credit cards, birth/marriage/divorce certicate/s for you and your children
- Centrelink, immigration documents
- Medical records, medications and Medicare details
- Court papers including protection and family law papers, leases, mortgage, legal papers, copy of ADVO
- Your children’s favourite toys and other items of comfort
- Personal items which have value or you fear may be destroyed such as jewellery and photographs
Leaving an abusive relationship does not always result in immediate safety. Here are some tips you and your children can use to maintain safety after separation.
- Inform your children’s school/day care of collection arrangements for your children
- Keep your ADVO with you at all times. Store a copy with someone you trust. If your circumstances change, apply to the local court for a variation
- Request police support if you need to return to house to retrieve your possessions
- Change your bank, postal address and phone number,
- Change all passwords
- Avoid using your usual shopping centre – change your routines
- Increase home security (changing locks, security chains, sensor lights)
- Seek support from neighbours to call the police if they hear a disturbance
- If your partner breaches an ADVO inform the police immediately
- Teach your children how to telephone the police and how to give their full name and address.
Electronic devices it is very easy to be tracked via mobile phones
- Change your phone, as your phone may have a tracking device attached – some support services can provide free phones or sim cards
- Clear your Internet history
- Create an alternative email account
- Protect or change your passwords
- Increase privacy settings on social network sites such as Facebook or stop using facebook, don’t post photos which can be identified
It is not easy to leave but once you do leave, and after you leave you may feel compelled to return, the abuser may threaten you or your family, threaten to harm pets, make promises to change, be generous and charming, if this happens it is very important to talk to your counsellor or caseworker. After leaving it is usual to feel grief, anger, anxiety about the future, lonely and on your own, again talk to a DFV specialist who can help.
If you are experiencing Domestic or Family Violence you can apply for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders for Protection
An ADVO protects a person from violence committed by someone they are or were in a domestic relationship with. It protects you from violence, harrassment, stalking or intimidation.
ADVOs do not give the abuser a criminal record, but if the ADVO is broken the abuser can be charged with a criminal offence. If you are assaulted, stalked, property damaged or pets harmed you need to report this to the police.
Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) are in plain English.
For information about ADVOs call Women’s Legal Services on 1800 810 784 or Macarthur Women’s DV Advocacy Service 46407333
or follow the links to NSW Police and Law Access
Sample AVO :
Translations are available in the following languages: