Domestic and Family Violence
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Western Sydney University is committed to the health, wellbeing and safety of its community. Support options available for students and staff experiencing domestic and family violence may include:
- flexible work or study arrangements
- staff leave or study break options
- referral to confidential counselling support services
- support from campus security
The information sheets below provide a summary of available supports for out students and staff:
Domestic and family violence is never okay.
Seeking help and support at Western Sydney University
In any crisis call Emergency Services on 000
Students are encouraged to talk with a counsellor from our student Counselling Service. This is a free service available to all students. Any matters discussed are treated with respect to an individual's right to privacy.
Staff are encouraged to access the University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for themselves or a family member. This confidential counselling service is provided to all staff, including their immediate family members at no cost.
Safety on campus
The safety of our staff and students is a priority. If you are concerned for the safety of yourself, or any individual on campus you should contact Campus Safety and Security on 1300 737 003. If there is an immediate life threatening situation call 000.
Campus security can also be made aware of any active apprehended violence orders and staff can also discuss individual safety options with their Manager or HR representative.
More information about safety is available on the Campus Safety and Security webpage
Leave and flexible work options for staff
Staff experiencing family or domestic violence can access leave options as outlined in the University's staff agreements and other supports to assist in the circumstances. You can also request a flexible working arrangement. Visit the Flexible Work Option webpage to find out more or speak to your Manager or HR representative.
Contact Ms Michelle Falconer, Director, Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing on 0409 227 897 or via email for confidential advice on supports.
Also view Additional Resources At Western.
Seeking help and support in the community
Domestic Violence Hotline - 1800 65 64 63
The Domestic Violence Line is a NSW state-wide a 24 hour help line which offers crisis counselling and referral service for women and persons who identify as female.
MensLine Australia - 1300 78 99 78
Men can also be victims of domestic and family violence and are entitled to full protection under legislation. MensLine Australia is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and is delivered by On The Line.
The Daisy app connects you to domestic and family violence support services in your local area. The app, developed by 1800RESPECT, is free to download with a built in safety features.
QLife - 1800 184 527
QLife provides Australia-wide anonymous LGBTIQ peer support and referral. The service is available from 3pm to midnight 7 days.
Also view Additional Resources In the Community.
What is domestic and family violence?
Domestic and family violence occurs when there is violence, abuse or bullying behaviour towards you by someone who has a close relationship with you. The behaviour or actions are intended to scare and control and it can happen at home or outside the home.
Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone regardless of culture, age, education, gender or sexual orientation. Domestic and family violence can refer to intimate partner abuse or abuse between siblings, parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
There are many different forms of abuse which are considered a crime under the legislation. Further information on the different forms of abuse can be found at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice webpage.
Domestic and family violence is a crime as defined in the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act NSW 2007.Further information can be found at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice domestic violence webpage
The Department of Human Services can also assist with possible financial support if eligible and linking to other services.
Facts and figures
Violence against women is a serious and widespread problem in Australia, with enormous individual and community impacts and social costs.
Our Watch (a nationwide organisation which has been established to drive change) provides the following facts and figures:
- On average, one woman a week is killed by a current or former partner.
- 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
- 1 in 5 Australian women has experienced sexual violence.
- Women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence.
- In 2014–15, Indigenous women were 32 times as likely to be hospitalised due to family violence as non-Indigenous women.
Change the story
Our Watch has developed a framework which supports a violence free Australia and identifies gender inequality is at the core of the problem of violence against women. The framework seeks to ensure an Australia free of violence against women and their children where women are not only safe, but respected, valued and treated as equals in private and public life.
The following video Let's change the story: Violence against women in Australia highlights key shapers of inequality between men and women and drivers of domestic violence.
- Respect Now Always - A national Universities campaign based on recommendations from the Human Rights Commission.
- Student Counselling Support - Professional and confidential counselling for students.
- Student Welfare Services - Includes a range of different services to assist students work through unexpected issues.
- Mental Health and Wellbeing - Further information and resources on supporting positive mental health.
- Domestic and Family Violence Information for Managers - A fact sheet for managers with information on how to support staff entitlements and advises resources available.
- Employee Assistance Program - A professional, confidential coaching service for staff and their immediate family members funded by the University.
In the Community
- Police NSW 000
- Domestic Violence – NSW State Government - 1800 65 64 63 – Information about supports available for individuals experiencing family or domestic violence
- Legal Aid – Domestic Violence Unit - The domestic violence unit has lawyers and social workers who can assist people with legal and social needs.
- Our Watch - Information and research focused on preventing all forms of violence against women and their children.
- 1800 RESPECT - National sexual assault, domestic family violence counselling service
- West Connect Domestic Violence Services Inc - Domestic violence support in the Penrith/Nepean, Blue Mountains, Blacktown/Hills and Hawkesbury district
- Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service - Support, information, referrals and representation for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
- NSW Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - Assist people who may be at risk of domestic violence to find out if their current or former partner has a history of violent criminal offences. For Shoalhaven, St George, Sutherland and Oxley LGAs
- Another Closet - For people in LGBTIQ relationships who are, or may be, experiencing domestic and family violence
- National Family Violence Prevention Legal Service - Provides culturally sensitive help to Aboriginal and Torres Strait People who are victims/survivors of family violence and sexual assault.
- Immigrant Women’s Speak Out Service - NSW - A peak advocacy, information/referral and research body for immigrant and refugee women in NSW. Provides direct services for homelessness, domestic violence and employment, education and training.
- Relationships Australia - Relationships Australia is a leading provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities