Right to Healthy and Respectful Relationships

  • You have the right to be treated with respect in your relationship with your partner and all family and friends in your life
  • Healthy relationships are based on kindness and caring for one another, sharing decision making and responsibilities.
  • Healthy relationships never involve physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or violence. Having a partner that is controlling and coercive is also abuse / violence.

Family/domestic violence

  • Domestic violence can be committed by someone in your family or close to you such as your:

    • Husband/wife or domestic partner
    • Adult children
    • Parents or in-laws
    • Other senior people in your community

Family/domestic violence in Australia is a crime and you can go to jail if you commit it.

Types of Violence

  • People can be violent towards others in many different ways

    • There are different types of violence discussed below but this list may not include all types.
    • You can seek help for any fear or violence you may feel.
    • You have a right to feel safe and protected and free from violence or manipulation
Physical violence Sexual violence Psychological violence Emotional violence

When someone uses a part of his or her body or with an object to control another person’s actions.

For example:

  • Using physical force, which results in pain, injury or discomfort.
  • Hitting, pushing, punching, burning, kicking and biting.
  • Assault or threat with weapon or other object.

When a person is forced to take part in sexual activities, against their will. Sexual violence includes:

  • Sexual touching without consent, for example kissing or grabbing
  • Forced sex (this is known as rape)
  • Forcing a person to perform sexual acts of any kind.
  • A person who is making inappropriate jokes or unwelcome sexual comments.
  • Forced sex work
  • Discrimination because of sexuality
  • Denial of a person’s sexuality or privacy.
  • Exposing a person to HIV-AIDS or any other sexually transmitted infection on purpose.

When someone use threats or cause fear to a person to have control over them. Physical violence examples:

  • Threatening to hurt your family
  • Threats of being left alone
  • Verbal aggression, saying mean things like bullying.
  • Not allowing access to phone or to make decisions.
  • Stalking or criminal harassment.
  • Pressuring person to things they do not want to do, such as:
    • Sign legal documents
    • Move out of home or country.
    • Make or change health decisions.

When someone says or does something that makes a person feel worthless or stupid. Examples of emotional violence:

  • Name calling
  • Not allowing the person to contact their family or friends
  • Making fun of the person, jokes on their behalf.
  • Intimidating the person, causing fear.
  • Threatening to leave the person
  • Threatening to have the person deported.

Verbal abuse Financial abuse Spiritual and religious violence Neglect

When a person uses language to harm another person, such as:

  • Yelling, lying, insulting, swearing or name-calling.
  • Threatening violence against the person or the person’s family.
  • Withholding important information.
  • Telling a person that he or she is worthless, stupid or anything else that upsets the person.
  • Using social media to do any of the above

When someone is taking control over a person’s financial resource without the person’s consent. This occurs when:

  • Not allowing a person to have an education, not attend school.
  • Controlling a person’s choice of work.
  • Illegally using a person’s money or property in any way.
  • Forging, copying, signature.
  • Opening mail without permission.
  • Destroying personal property.
  • Not allowing the person access to bank accounts, savings or other income or money.
  • Forcing a person to buy something or give their money away.

When someone uses a person's spiritual or religious beliefs to control or manipulate the person. This includes:

  • Not allowing the person to follow his or hers preferred spiritual or religious tradition.
  • Forcing a path or practice on another person.
  • Making fun of someone’s traditions, beliefs or practices.

When someone has the responsibility to provide care or assistance for a person but does not do it. This includes the following:

  • Failing to meet the needs of a person.
  • Not staying with a person who needs help.
Physical neglect is about failing to provide supplies for daily living such as:
  • Food and drink
  • Shelter
  • Clean clothes and linens
  • Social relations
Medical neglect includes:
  • Ignoring special food requirements.
  • Not providing needed medications.
  • Not being aware of the possible negative effects of medications.

  • If you or someone you know is in danger call the police on 000.

    • Police in Australia are safe and can be trusted.
    • If you are experiencing violence by your visa sponsor or you are on a visa it is safe to call the police.
    • For free, confidential counselling and information call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
    • If you need a free interpreter call 131 450.

Everyone has the right to be safe and has the same legal protections, no matter what your religion, culture, age, ability, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

Support and Counselling

There are many organisations that can provide help:

  • Counsellors - to talk about your problems
  • Case workers - to help you make decisions about what you want and how to be safe
  • Lawyers - if you need help to go to police, court or with your visa
  • Shelter and housing - if you want to leave your home.

Services will listen to you and talk about different choices – you can make choices that are right for you and will be supported no matter what decision you make.

In Touch provide free confidential advice and help in your own language. They have helped many women in your situation. They will make sure that you and your children are safe.

For a free and confidential service, you can contact us:

Phone: 03 9413 6500

Toll free: 1800 755 988

Relationships Australia (

1800 RESPECT (

QLife (