Christmas is a wonderful time of year for a lot of people. It’s a time of family, friends, love, and laughter.
Sadly, for a lot of people it is not. For many couples it is a time of turbulence, fighting, and even abuse.
For single mothers and fathers it is often a period of loneliness, feeling inadequate, reflection, and thinking about what has been lost, and dreams that have been broken. For many single parents, it will be their first Christmas as a single parent (if this is you, read this blog post for some strategies to help you get through this Christmas).
It is also a time of high conflict between separated and divorced couples, even for those that have been separated for a long period of time. Abuse often continues years after separation. For myself, the emotional abuse still hasn’t ended almost 4 years on. It used to get to me so much, I’d cry and cry. Now I know how to manage it, and not let it affect me as much, or as often.
Domestic Violence Services and Support
Here is a list of services (most of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) for Australian women in a relationship, or single mothers (and fathers), that are suffering with domestic violence, or relationship conflict, and need help or support this Christmas.
- In an emergency, call the Police on 000
- You can call the The National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line on 1800 RESPECT (or 1800 737 732) . They provide free telephone and online counselling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
- Lifeline has a national 24 hour number who can help put you in contact with a crisis service in your State – 13 11 14. Lifeline provide all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
- Kids Help Line (1800 55 1800) is a telephone counselling for children and young people.
- Australian Childhood Foundation (1800 176 453 or (03) 9874 3922) provide counselling for children and young people affected by abuse.
- If you are feeling suicidal and need free telephone counseling, call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
- Mensline (1300 78 99 78) is a telephone and online support an information service for Australian men and boys who are dealing with family and relationship difficulties.
- If you are trying to find therapist or counselor to speak to, this article has some great tips on how to choose a therapist.
New South Wales
- NSW Domestic Violence Line provides telephone counselling, information and referrals for women and same-sex partners who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence. Phone: 1800 65 64 63 or 1800 671 442.
- Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service NSW Inc provides links to a range of local support services including accommodation, counselling, financial support, court support, legal advice and referrals to government and non-government organisations. Phone: 1800 938 227.
- Centre Against Violence (CAV) is a community based, not for profit organisation that provides crisis, short term, medium term and long term counselling, and advocacy, information and support about family violence, sexual assault and problem sexualised behaviours. CAV offers crisis accommodation, support and recovery services to women and children experiencing family violence.
- Safe Steps Family Violence Response Center. Phone: 1800 015 188 or 9322 3555.
- DVConnect Womensline provides confidential advice and counselling as well as referral to crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence. For their Domestic Violence Telephone Service, call 1800 811 811.
- QLD DV WebLink is a directory of QLD support services
Australian Capital Territory
- Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS). Phone: 02 6280 0900.
- Domestic Violence Crisis Line. Phone: 1800 019 116.
- Domestic Violence Helpline. Phone: 1800 800 098.
- Family Violence Counselling and Support Service. Phone: 1800 608 122 (available 9 am – midnight).
- Family Violence Response and Referral. Phone: 1800 633 937.
- Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline. Phone: 08 9223 1188 or 1800 007 339.
- Crisis Care. Phone: 1800 199 00808 or 9233 1111.