Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Domestic and family violence: how does it impact people in Australia

GIVIT works with over 1,100 domestic violence shelters, charities and organisations that support individuals, families and kids impacted by domestic and family violence. These charities request exactly what they need for people escaping or experiencing DV. Education and understanding of domestic abuse help generous people truly appreciate the impact of their kindness.

So, here is what you need to know about what domestic violence is in Australia and what the impacts mean for people forced to escape or live with DV.

If you only have 30 seconds, here are the key points about domestic abuse:

  • Domestic violence is when one person in a relationship repeatedly hurts another or makes them feel unsafe
  • Types of abuse can include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse
  • GIVIT has seen a spike in organisations requesting support for people living long-term in DV shelters, particularly single mums with kids
  • Minorities are disproportionately impacted including First Nations Australians, people living with disability, and the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Dependence on an abusive partner for income is a major barrier in escaping DV
  • If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text  0458 737 732or visit the website for online chat and video call services


What is domestic violence in Australia?

Domestic violence in Australia refers to any pattern of behaviour that involves the misuse of power and control by one person over another within a domestic or family relationship. This abuse can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse.

It is a pervasive issue in Australia with domestic violence figures saying 1 in 6 women in 2021-22 have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current cohabiting partner since the age of 15 (ABS). This stat only accounts for physical abuse; we’ll cover the rates of all types of domestic violence in the next paragraph.

The high rates of domestic violence cause significant impacts on adults, kids, families, and communities. Recognising the urgent need for support and intervention, GIVIT ensures DV shelters and charities can provide enough resources when needed.

What is the domestic violence rate in Australia?

According to the most recent Personal Safety Survey (PSS) research conducted by ABS in 2021-22, below are the rates for all types of domestic violence in Australia

  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 18 men in 2021-22 had experienced physical and/or sexual violence
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in 2021-22 had experienced emotional abuse e.g verbal abuse
  • 1 in 6 women and 1 in 13 men in 2021-22 had experienced economic abuse
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men in 2021-22 had experienced sexual abuse

Each of these statistics applies to abuse by a current or previous cohabiting partner since the age of 15.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

What are the barriers that stop people from escaping domestic violence?

Some people may think “Why don’t people leave domestic violence situations?”

Questions like this often point to a lack of understanding about the impacts of abuse. The trauma of domestic violence, escaping with kids and more are barriers for people to accessing support services. Individuals and families escaping domestic violence often leave with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Below are just some of the barriers to seeking formal support for domestic abuse

  • Dependencies on financial support and care from partner
  • Limited access to services
  • The emotional and physical burden of reaching out for help and sharing traumatic events

Accessing support is more complex for kids, First Nations Peoples, people living in remote areas, people living with disability, refugees and LGBTQIA+ people.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Domestic violence text on a turquoise background reads, "30% of women who have left a violent relationship are living in poverty."

How can YOU help to ease barriers for people rebuilding their lives?

Ensuring that people have access to basic needs such as food, fuel, clothing and shelter eases the burden of escaping domestic violence.

Did you know that 30% of women who escape DV live in poverty? (ABS)

A report by renowned feminist, journalist and UTS Business School Professor Anne Summers found that many people leaving violence couldn’t pay their bills, heat their houses or register their cars. More than 17,000 women went without meals. (source The Choice: Violence or Poverty)

At first, it’s difficult to see how a grocery or fuel voucher can make a difference, but research tells us that people really need a helping hand with essentials and your donation could mean the difference between a women doing meals for a week or can’t drive their kids to school.

Here’s an example of how the generosity of the GIVIT community gave hope and stability for a brave woman fleeing DV:

After years of living in violence, this mum fled with her three kids and two pets. This takes courage; to drive away without knowing where her family would sleep that night. However, soon after fleeing, the car caught fire. People stopped to help, but the family's belongings were destroyed, including all electronics, school wear & supplies, clothing, shoes, and food.

The difference the GIVIT community made for this family

Our powerful GIVIT community shared this need far and wide on social media and GIVIT provided countless essentials such as clothing and household items. The recipient passed on the message below:

"Oh my goodness, I really didn’t think anyone cared enough to go out of their way to help us, thank you all so very much, we are just in shock. This is everything to us. I can replace almost everything that was ruined & my babies can get back to some sort of normal life 💚."

How to ensure a person can rebuild their lives after domestic violence

The best, quickest and most effective way to help people experiencing any form of abuse is to donate money. You can give funds to the Domestic and Family Violence appeal, and our team will use your donation to purchase requested items, or you can FUND items or services on our Domestic and Family Violence Appeal What ’Needed list.

In cases of domestic and family violence, money donations allow the charity to provide exactly what’s needed directly to the recipient. Aside from being easy for people to donate, this process also protects the recipient's privacy, safety, dignity, and autonomy.

You also have the option to donate items, services or volunteer your time against the requests with the GIVIT button.


12 Days of Giving


Supporting thousands in need with help from Dan Murphy’s

Just donated