Domestic, Family & Sexual Violence

If you are in immediate danger, please call emergency services on 000.

All people in the Woollahra community deserve to be safe. If you are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, there is help available for you and your family. 

Domestic & Family Violence

Domestic and family violence (also often referred to as domestic abuse) is the misuse of power and control by one person over another in a relationship such as marriage, dating, family (including children towards a parent/carer) or cohabitation. It can affect anyone in the community, regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, age, culture, ethnicity, religion, disability or economic status.

Domestic and family violence is a pattern of physical, sexual, emotional, economic, social and/or psychological actions (or threat of actions) that harm another person. This includes any behaviours that control, frighten, intimidate, terrorise, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. The neglect of children and other dependents is also domestic abuse.

Domestic and family violence has profound negative consequences for the lives of children, individuals, families and communities. Abusive behaviour towards another person is criminal, and punishable by law. Police are able to help you. Further information can be found here.

Coercive control is when someone uses abusive behaviours towards a current or previous partner with the intention to coerce or control them. Coercive control is often present in domestic and family violence. From July 2024, coercive control will be a criminal offence in NSW.

See below FAQs for further information about support available. 

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a devastating and extreme violation of a person, and is also a serious crime. Sexual violence is most often perpetrated by men against women, but anyone can experience it.

Sexual violence includes a variety of acts, including any kind sexual act that is non-consensual, distributing explicit media without consent, tricking or coercing someone into engaging in a sexual act that they don’t want to, and using sexually degrading insults and criticisms.

You can report a sexual assault if you want to, and further information about your options can be found here. You are able to report without filing a formal police complaint.

See below FAQs for further information about support available. 

We’re all responsible for setting the standard for what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. Small changes to what we say and do can make a big difference. Hear from cricket legend, Mike Whitney, in the video below.


I or someone I know may be affected by domestic and family violence. Where can I find help?


I or someone I know may be affected by a sexual assault. Where can I find help?

  • RPA Sexual Assault Service on 9515 9040 (or attend Ground floor King George the 5th Building, Camperdown or go to the Emergency Department of RPA Hospital for immediate help) – provides 24/7 crisis counselling, medical response and forensic response for people aged 14+ who have been subjected to a recent sexual assault.
  • 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 (available 24/7) - to talk with a trained counsellor about a sexual assault and/or about supporting someone else.
  • NSW Sexual Violence Helpline on 1800 424 017 – anyone in NSW who has experienced sexual assault, or is supporting someone who has.
  • National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service on 1800 737 377 – professional counselling and referrals for people impacted by institutional child sexual abuse.
  • Women’s Legal Service NSW – provides useful information about sexual violence and the law.
  • Department of Communities & Justice Hub – centralised information about sexual violence and consent by NSW Government.
  • Reach Out – provides a variety of helpful articles to understand how you can find help, how to tell people about a sexual assault, and more.


I’m concerned for the safety of a child. What can I do?

  • Call 000 in an emergency.
  • Contact Child Protection Helpline on 13 21 11.
  • Further information here.


I think I’m engaging in abusive/violent behaviours. Who can help me to stop?

  • Men's Referral Service (run by No to Violence) on 1300 766 491 – The national counselling, information and referral service for men who use violence and abuse; to change their behaviour.
  • Full Stop – provides helpful information.


Council's role

Woollahra Council organises, supports and promotes local initiatives that challenge disrespectful behaviours so as to foster the elimination of abuse and the promotion of respectful relationships. These include:

  • Being an active member of the Eastern Suburbs Domestic Violence Network. The Network works together to create relevant anti-domestic abuse initiatives and helps to promote and share resources.
  • Empowering women in the community by participating in International Women's Day and hosting a yearly activity that celebrates and encourages women to inspire and support each other to achieve their goals.
  • Sponsoring the not-for-profit Women’s Housing Company for up to three years to provide ten secure units of accommodation for ten mothers and their children escaping domestic abuse to allow them to remain living close to where they have support networks.

Find out more about the Domestic & Family Violence Accommodation & Support Program(PDF, 3MB), Proudly supported by Woollahra Council.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Community Development Team
Phone: 9391 7124