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Supporting someone

  • For people who have experienced sexual assault, domestic or family violence the right support can make all the difference
  • It is common to feel unsure about the best things to say and do, but you should never feel too scared to say something
  • There are some simple things to be aware of that will help make it easier for you and the person you are supporting.
  • If you are supporting someone affected by domestic, family and sexual violence, you can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732 or visit our website for online chat and video call services:
    • Available 24/7: Call, text or online chat
    • Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST (except national public holidays): Video call (no appointment needed) 

Responding to violence and abuse

It takes a lot of courage to disclose an experience of domestic, family or sexual violence. Responding sensitively can make a real difference to someone's wellbeing and how they approach their situation. 

You can support them by:

  • Taking time, listening to their story and validating them
  • Making sure they have the privacy to be able to tell their story
  • Not asking too many questions about what has happened — this can be intrusive and re-traumatising
  • Not arguing with them or pushing them to leave their situation or take action
  • Respecting their right to have control over what they say and the actions they want to take
  • Asking about what support they have to help them at the moment and encouraging them to seek further support, such as 1800RESPECT or a local support service which you can help them find by searching our Service Directory.

Find out more about how you can offer support to someone experiencing domestic or family violence, sexual violence, or to a child in the links below.