About domestic violence

Many women who come to our Service experience domestic and family violence and do not feel safe from their current or former partner. You may be worried about your safety (including emotional safety) and that of your children.

The law recognises the importance of personal safety and freedom, and that domestic and family violence is unacceptable behaviour that should not be tolerated in society.

Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone, crosses all age groups and all social, financial and cultural demographics.

Domestic violence is the repeated use of violent and abusive tactics to maintain power and control over the other person in the relationship. It is not just limited to physical abuse (pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, or injuring with objects or weapons) but can include:

  • Verbal abuse (screaming, shouting, name calling, using sarcasm, criticism or put downs);
  • Emotional or psychological abuse (any behaviour that threatens, intimidates or humiliates – destroying property, reckless driving of a vehicle with the victim in the car, threatening to injure or kill the victim, threatening suicide, or self harm so as to intimidate, frighten or control the victim);
  • Sexual abuse (any forced or unwanted sexual contact or activity);
  • Controlling behaviours (dictating what the victim does, who she sees and talks to, where she goes, preventing her from working or having any money of her own, preventing her from having contact with family or friends, reading texts or emails, or using GPS to track the victim’s movements);
  • Economic or financial abuse (withholding or threatening to withhold money, being refused or denied access to money resulting in the victim being financially dependent on their partner);
  • Spiritual or cultural abuse (ridiculing or putting down the victim’s beliefs and culture, preventing her from practising her religion or from participating in significant cultural ceremonies);
  • Stalking (worrying or frightening the victim by repeatedly watching her, following her, making persistent phone calls, sending texts, emails or mail). Remember, stalking is also a criminal offence that you can report to the police.

Client testimonial

“So many women need help but are trapped by fear, all types of abuse, lacking financial means and not knowing where to turn for support. If I had not been so fortunate to have support provided by Women’s Legal Service, the future of my girls and I would have been a terrifying and uncertain one.”

Understanding domestic violence

Many women who come to our Service experience domestic and family violence and do not feel safe from their current or former partner. This factsheet provides some detailed information about domestic and family violence.

How to apply for a Domestic Violence Order

If you have experienced domestic violence, this factsheet provides extensive information about all the steps and procedures involved in applying for a Domestic Violence Order.

Guide to completing a Domestic Violence Application

This guide sets out who can file a Domestic Violence Application and step-by-step instructions for completing the Application.

Tips for drafting domestic violence affidavits

Women’s Legal Service has prepared this information sheet in relation to Domestic Violence Applications and drafting domestic violence Affidavits.

Domestic Violence Order - video resources

Queensland Courts have published a series of videos explaining the court process for making domestic violence orders.

If you are applying or responding to a domestic violence order, there is information here for you.

Domestic Violence Orders are part of a strategy to protect the safety of all members of our community and to stop the violence.