Violence and the law
Online legal resources
- There are a range of organisations that can help you navigate the legal system for a sexual, domestic or family violence matter
- There are different services operating in different states
- On this page you will find links to information, resources and support in each state and territory.
Where can I find support and information on the legal system?
There are a number of ways you may come into contact with the legal system when you have experienced sexual assault, domestic or family violence. This page contains links to organisations that provide legal information, resources and support wherever you are in Australia, free of charge.
The first section has links to national, state and territory legal services as well as useful online resources. In each section you will also find information on Magistrates' or Local Courts, which handle protection order applications and other domestic or family violence matters. For criminal matters, including sexual assault, or matters involving children you would need to attend a different court. Contact a legal service for further support and information or advice on which court you need to go to.
In addition to the legal services listed on this page, sexual assault support or counselling services can also provide information and support for victims of rape and sexual assault. Support services may provide information on how to report the crime to police, have a Forensic Medical Examination and how to access emergency contraception. These services may also be able to provide ongoing counselling as well as support when reporting to police or being a witness in court.
The Service Directory provides links to support and counselling services in your area.
Support for visa holders
The Australian Government has zero tolerance for domestic and family violence against anyone, including permanent or temporary visa holders.
If you are experiencing domestic and family violence and are concerned about your visa status, please contact the Department of Home Affairs.
It’s important to remember that only the Minister or a delegated officer has the power to refuse or cancel a person’s visa.
For more information on access to support for persons impacted by violence, please visit the department of Home Affairs website.
Paid family and domestic violence leave
The Australian Government has implemented 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave to help employees experiencing domestic and family violence.
From 1 August 2023, employees of small businesses (less than 15 employees) can access
10 days paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period.
Employees of larger businesses were entitled to paid family and domestic violence leave from
1 February 2023.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence, you can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or through the online chat.
Where to go for further information and support?
- For more information on how you can access paid family and domestic violence leave visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website and speak with your employer.
- For more information on paid family and domestic violence leave and your responsibilities, visit the Fair Work Obumdsman website.
- For domestic and family violence awareness training and workshop options as an employer, visit the DV-alert website.
- For more information for small business employers visit Home (10dayspaidfdvleave.com.au).
- For further information for employers on family and domestic violence, listen to the podcast, ‘Small business Big Impact: how to support employees experiencing family and domestic violence’ available wherever you get your podcasts.
Support services and legal resources
In case of immediate danger call 000 for police assistance.
For information, referral and counselling contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or through online chat. Our service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Women's Legal Service Australia Free advice and casework
- National Association of Community Legal Centres Free legal referral and assistance
- National Legal Aid Advice, duty lawyers and referral
- National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Legal support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- New South Wales Local Court
- Redfern Legal Centre
- New South Wales Justice Department
- Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program
- Indigenous Women's Legal Program
- Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women's Legal Centre
- Magistrates' Court of Victoria
- Neighbourhood Justice Centre
- The Lookout
- Court Network
- Federation of Community Legal Centres, Victoria
- Victoria Police - Easy English guide to reporting crime
Some of the courts and legal services listed on this page also have videos that support people experiencing violence and abuse. These include videos about what to expect if you go to court, how to apply for an intervention order and some of the laws relating to domestic and family violence. As laws are slightly different in each state and territory it's important to use these videos as a guide only and to seek legal advice before making any important decisions.
Legal Aid A.C.T
Legal Aid A.C.T have a series of videos that provide information on common legal matters. The videos are accessed through the Legal Aid A.C.T website.
Justice Department NSW
The New South Wales Justice Department have a series of videos, containing information for victims of crime about going to court in that sate.
Magistrates Court SA
The Magistrates Court of South Australia have created a video to explain the legal process of taking out an Intervention Order in that state.
Community Legal Centres TAS
The Community Legals Centres of Tasmania have a video series on how to represent yourself in court. These provide a good overview for anyone going to court, including victims and defendants.
Neighbourhood Justice Centre VIC
The Neighbourhood Justice Centre of Victoria have a range of videos relating to courts, legal matters and domestic and family violence.
Eastern Community Legal Centre VIC
The Eastern Community Legal Centre of Victoria have created an easy to understand video on the process of applying for an intervention order in that state.