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Defence Community Organisation

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Defence Family and Domestic Violence Strategy

Family and domestic violence can take many forms and may be damaging psychologically, emotionally and physically for the abused person. If you find yourself in an abusive situation, seek help and if you are aware of another person experiencing family and domestic violence, encourage them to seek assistance.

While definitions of family and domestic violence vary, there is a general acceptance that it is an abuse of power by a partner, ex-partner or family member. It can take many forms including social isolation, emotional, physical, sexual, religious and financial abuse.

Family and domestic violence is never acceptable. Defence has a zero tolerance of family and domestic violence and is actively engaged in the national response addressing this issue.

Through a working group made up of representatives across each of the Services and the civilian workforce, Defence is developing and implementing a range of strategies designed to respond compassionately to victims and reduce the effects of violence on families.

The Defence Family and Domestic Violence Strategy 2017–2022 sets out the Defence’s objectives and key areas of focus and principles and aims to:

  • ensure the safety of those subjected to, or affected by the use of, family and domestic violence
  • provide those subjected to or affected by family and domestic violence with appropriate immediate supports and referral to professional services
  • provide Defence personnel with the skills, knowledge and confidence to identify people subjected to and affected by family and domestic violence and respond effectively to their needs
  • promote accurate understanding of family and domestic violence and its impact on the workplace

Download: Defence Family and Domestic Violence Strategy

Defence support for families affected by violence

For military members and their families, support and advice is available through Defence Community Organisation, 24 hours a day. Contact the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 or email

Civilian Defence personnel and their families needing support or advice can call the EAP helpline on 1300 361 008, 24 hours a day.

Related: Emergency & crisis support | Defence Family Helpline

Other key contacts

For emergency situations that require immediate attention, call triple zero for emergency services. There are also several 24-hour telephone support services you can call for assistance:

  • 1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault domestic family violence counselling service, providing confidential online and telephone counselling, information and referral 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    1800 737 732
  • Mensline Australia is a national 24-hour service for men, providing support, information or referral by telephone or online.
    1300 789 978
  • Kids Help Line is a free, and anonymous 24-hour telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people 5–25 years old.
    1800 551 800
  • The ADF Mental Health All Hours Support Line provides mental health and wellbeing advice for ADF members and their families.
    1800 628 036
  • Lifeline is a national 24-hour support line which provides crisis support and mental health services for the cost of a local call from landlines or free from mobiles.
    131 114
  • Violence Against Women Helpline is a 24-hour helpline specialising in counselling and referrals for women who experience domestic violence or sexual assault.
    1800 200 526

Related: Emergency & crisis support | Defence Family Helpline