Around one in four women have experienced violence or abuse at some point in their lives. If you are worried about someone, let them know they have your support.

If a friend or family member is experiencing domestic and family violence, there are ways to provide support. Let them know you care. Your support could make the difference. It could help them start thinking about what they want to do next.

Let them tell you about their experience. Listen and don’t judge them, or make decisions for them.

It is also important to know that leaving the relationship isn’t always a safe option for them or their children. Immediately after leaving a relationship the risk of violence can be increased.

You can also reach out to a service such as Domestic Violence Crisis Service DVCSExternal Link for support and guidance.

Domestic and family violence includes a wide range of behaviours that are meant to make someone feel intimidated or unsafe. Physical harm is not the only sign. There are other types of domestic and family violence too. If you have been worried about a friend or family member, it might be because you have noticed some of the following:

  • the person seems intimidated by their partner
  • they seem very anxious to please their partner
  • their behaviour changes when their partner is present
  • they seem withdrawn, or scared to speak when their partner is present
  • they feel like they have to give their partner updates about where they are and who they are with
  • they seem to be worried about being watched
  • they make excuses for their partner’s behaviour
  • they talk about their partner being jealous
  • they have bruises, scratches or other signs of injury which are hard to explain
  • you have seen or heard their partner look at, speak to, or touch them in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
  • they withdraw from social activities, such as seeing you, their family or friends, without explanation.

The victim-survivor of domestic and family violence likely knows the risks they are facing, and what they need to do to keep safe. Let them be the decision-maker and let them know you will support them.

You can show support by letting them know:

For more detailed advice on how to support the person you care about, speak with one of the domestic and family violence services here.

Page updated: 22 Dec 2022