Services overview

If you have experienced sexual, domestic or family violence it's important to know that support is available.

This page explains the kinds of services available to you, including:

On the other tabs of this section you will find information on support services for money and finance and housing.

What services are available to me?

Australia has many services to support people affected by violence and abuse. These services can help you when dealing with:

Below are descriptions of the kinds of services available to you.

Domestic and family violence

There are many services in Australia that give support to people experiencing or escaping from domestic or family violence.

Support might include things like:

  • Listening to your experience
  • Giving you information
  • Counselling
  • Supporting you with going to the doctor and medical appointments
  • Putting you in touch with the best services for you
  • Helping you work through any financial worries
  • Supporting you in court
  • Helping with things you might find hard to do, like filling out legal forms

Each state and territory offers different types of services. See our Service directory for services in your state. You can also contact 1800RESPECT for a referral on 1800 737 732 or through online chat at the bottom of your screen.

Sexual violence and assault

There are a range of services available to people who have experienced sexual violence and assault. These services include:

  • Counselling
  • Medical support
  • Legal support
  • Childhood sexual abuse support
  • Crisis support

Each state and territory offers different types of services. See our Service directory for services in your state. You can also contact 1800RESPECT for a referral on 1800 737 732 or through online chat at the bottom of your screen.

Advocates for older people and people with disability

What is an advocate?

An advocate is someone who supports you to work out issues or problems. Advocates don’t make decisions for you or tell you what to do. They are there to support your needs. They keep your information private and only release information with your permission.

Why would I need an advocate?

There are different types of advocates for different needs. An advocate can provide extra support for you and help you understand the system. They can explain or help to find out your rights and responsibilities when it comes to legal, health or financial issues. They can help you find the right services to support you. An advocate may also be able to support you by going with you to court, medical or legal appointments, or to the police.

Sometimes the people you would normally rely on for support are violent or abusive and this may be another reason for seeking out an advocate.

Advocates for older people

Throughout Australia there are a range of advocates for older people. The services that provide advocacy for older people are different in each state. For the contact details of advocates in your state, you can visit the It's Your Life website.

Advocates for people with disability

Visit the Department of Social Services website to read about the National Disability Advocacy Program. You can also see our Service Directory for advocacy services in your area.

Services for particular groups

Everyone's experience of sexual assault, domestic and family violence is different. There are a range of services in Australia that can support the particular needs of different groups.

Some services have specialist understanding of the needs of migrant, refugee and Culturally and Linguistucally Diverse (CALD) Communities.  These services can:

  • Support you with someone who speaks your language and understands your culture
  • Provide confidential crisis and support service
  • Refer you to emergency accommodation services
  • Help you find the best people and services to help you
  • Offer counselling

To find migrant, refugee and CALD services in your area, see our Service directory or you can or call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or get in touch through our online chat.

Some services have a special understanding of the needs of people living with disability. These services can offer a range of different support, including

  • Advocacy
  • Helping you understand your rights
  • Legal support
  • Housing
  • Carers and assistance
  • Financial support
  • Sexual assault and domestic and family violence support
  • Counselling

Disability advocacy services

A disability advocate is someone who supports a person living with disability to help work out issues or problems. Disability advocates don’t make decisions for you or tell you what to do. They are there to support your needs.

They keep your information private and only release information with your permission.

Visit the Department of Social Services website to read about the National Disability Advocacy Program. You can also see our Service directory for advocacy services in your area.

Some services have a special understanding of the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The types of support offered by different services might include

  • Help with legal issues
  • Support with health concerns
  • Assistance with your housing situation
  • Dealing with a crisis
  • Support to deal with family violence
  • Support regarding concerns for the safety and well-being of children

 These services may provide support to:

  •  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are parents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • Non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples who have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners

To search for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support services, see our Service directory. You can also call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or contact us through our online chat for a referral to the best support service for you

Some services have a special understanding of the needs of people who identify as LGBTI and their communities. The types os support offered by different services might include:

  • Counselling
  • Legal advice and support
  • Referrals and connecting you with services
  • Accommodation and housing
  • Health and wellbeing

To find LGBTI support services in your area, see our Service Directory. You can also call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or get in touch through our online chat for a referral to the best support service for you.