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Domestic violence

If domestic violence is happening now, or a life is threatened, phone Triple Zero (000).

 

Get help and advice

DVConnect Womensline
1800 811 811
24 hours, 7 days a week

DVConnect Mensline
1800 600 636
9am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week

Sexual Assault Helpline
1800 010 120
7.30am to 11.30pm, 7 days a week

Kids Help Line on

1800 55 1800

24 hours, 7 days a week

Lifeline

13 11 14

24 hour Crisis Counselling Line

Elder Abuse Helpline
1300 651 192
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Domestic Violence Portal

What is domestic violence?

Domestic or family violence occurs when one person in a relationship uses violent or abusive behaviour to control another. This can include:

  • physical abuse

  • damage to property

  • sexual abuse

  • verbal abuse

  • harassment or intimidation

  • financial abuse, or

  • threatening to do any of these things.

Under Queensland law, domestic violence is recognised in several different types of relationships:

  • Spousal – this includes defacto partners, biological parents of a child, or same-sex couples

  • Intimate personal – two people in an established relationship, which does not have to be sexual

  • Family – related by blood or marriage, or culturally related

  • Informal care – an unpaid carer who assists with day-to-day living.

LGBTI domestic violence

​Under Queensland law, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are entitled to the same rights in relationships where abuse has occurred.

The Queensland Police Service continues to gain insight into the issues surrounding domestic violence in LGBTI communities and best practice in the policing response. Churchill Fellowship recipient Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen of the Fortitude Valley Police Station visited four countries, seven police departments and 15 community support organisations in 2017, conducting research with the aim of enhancing the Service’s response to domestic violence within the LGBTI community.

To view Senior Constable Bjaarnesen's Churchill Fellowship report go to Churchill Fellowship Report

How to report domestic violence

If domestic violence is happening now, or a life is threatened, phone the police on Triple Zero (000).

If a crime is not happening now, and the incident is not life threatening, you can call Policelink on 131 444, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Concerned that someone you know is a victim of domestic violence? Learn how to recognise the signs and what to do about it:

What police will do when you make a domestic violence report

The QPS takes domestic violence seriously. If you call us to report a domestic violence incident that is happening now or has just happened, our first priority will be the safety of the people involved.

By law, if we reasonably suspect domestic violence is happening or has just happened, we can enter and search the premises. This is to ensure that people are safe from any further harm and violence, and to find and gather evidence.

Police will liaise with all people involved to determine what has occurred. The police officer may ask questions about:

  • the relationship between the people involved

  • any history of domestic violence

  • the incident being investigated

Police may request the name and address of any person, including witnesses, involved in a domestic violence incident, .

How will police protect a victim of domestic violence?

In Queensland, a person who commits domestic violence is called the respondent and a person who experiences domestic violence is called the aggrieved. The Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Act 2012 is the law that governs what powers the police have when investigating a domestic violence incident, and how we can keep the aggrieved safe. It says:

  • If police reasonably suspect domestic violence is occurring, we must investigate.

  • If we believe domestic violence has taken place, we can issue a police protection notice to the respondent. This requires them to be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved, and may also prevent them from contacting the aggrieved or coming within a certain distance of a premises for 24 hours.

  • If we believe the aggrieved is in immediate danger, we can take the respondent into custody for up to four hours. We must apply for a protection order during this time.

  • If, after four hours, we believe the aggrieved is still not safe, or if the respondent is too intoxicated to understand the meaning of the protection order, we can continue to hold them in custody.

  • If the aggrieved has been hurt, we can charge the respondent with a criminal offence as well as taking out a protection order.

​What happens when police apply for a Domestic Violence Order?

When police apply for a protection order, the application will be assessed by a magistrate. The magistrate may make a temporary protection order to keep the aggrieved safe until the permanent protection order is issued.

The protection order will require that the respondent is of good behaviour and does not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved. They will not be allowed to possess any weapons or a weapons licence for the duration of the order. Other conditions may be imposed, depending on the situation. A protection order does not necessarily mean that a family will be divided, or contact between the people involved will not be allowed.

The respondent will not receive a criminal record or be imprisoned when the protection order is made. But, if they breach the conditions of the protection order, criminal charges may be instigated.

As of 25 November 2017, domestic violence orders issued in any Australian state or territory will be automatically recognised and enforceable nationwide. It is not necessary to register a domestic violence order in another state or territory for it to be enforceable. Domestic Violence Orders issued prior to 25 November 2017 can become nationally recognised by applying to any court in Australia.

More information on the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme.

​Help for victims of domestic violence

The QPS can connect people experiencing domestic violence with specialist support and services. You can ask us to make a referral to an appropriate support agency for you.

Learn more about domestic violence 

Domestic violence resources

Find videos, brochures and other information about domestic violence and how to recognise and respond to it.

Domestic violence – know the signs

Is someone you know experiencing domestic violence? Learn to recognise the warning signs.

Stalking

Learn what stalking is and how to respond.

Is your violence affecting others?

Get help if your violence is affecting people close to you.