Domestic and Family Violence

Western Sydney University is committed to the health, wellbeing and safety of its community. Support options available for students and staff experiencing family and domestic violence, including same sex partners may include:

  • flexible work or study arrangements when reasonably possible
  • staff leave or study break options to manage matters related to family and domestic violence
  • referral to confidential counselling support services such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or Student Counselling Services on campus.

Domestic and Family Violence Resources During COVID-19


What is Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic and family violence is a crime as defined in the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act NSW 2007.

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.

Further information can be found at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice webpage.

The Department of Human Services can assist with possible financial support if eligible and linking to other services. Social workers are available and a 24-hr national family and domestic violence phone counselling service - 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Types of Domestic and Family Violence

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 Department of Communities and Justice website.

Not all types of abuse are considered a crime under legislation. However, abuse can still cause harm and people who experience this can still access support services.

Facts and Figures

Violence against women is recognised as 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 her 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.
  • There is growing evidence that 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.

Further facts and figures can be found on the Ourwatch Quick Facts webpage.

Seeking Help and Support from Western Sydney University

Counselling Support
  • Students experiencing family and domestic violence are encouraged to arrange 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 affected by family or domestic violence 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. For more information visit AccessEAP or call 1800 81 87 28.
Leave and Flexible Work Option Available for Staff

Staff experiencing family or domestic violence can access leave options as outlined in the University's staff agreements.  Any application for leave will be considered in confidence between a staff member, the staff member's direct supervisor and HR representative. If required, additional leave may be applied for.

You can also request to enter into a flexible working arrangement. Visit the Flexible Work Option to find out more about requesting flexible working arrangements, and what option are available or you can speak to your Manager or HR representative.

If the need to work from home arises, staff should discuss any safety concerns they may have with their manager or HR representative to assess any possible alternatives.

Safety on Campus

The safety of our staff and student is a high priority. If you are concerned for the safety of yourself, or any individual in a study or work environment on campus you should contact Campus Safety and Security on 1300 737 003.

If there is an immediate life threatening situation call 000 and then your local Campus Safety and Security office.

Staff affected by a family or domestic violence matter can also discuss individual safety options with their Manager or HR representative.

More information about safety is available on the Campus Safety and Security website.

Contacts and Resources

NSW Domestic Violence Hotline – 24 hour line - 1800 65 64 63

The NSW Domestic Violence Line is a NSW state-wide telephone crisis counselling and referral service for women and persons who identify as female.

Mens Line Australia

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.

Daisy App

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 feature.

Change the Story -  Our Watch

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 and Equality in Universities Pilot Program

Western Sydney University is one of four universities participating in The Respect and Equality in Universities project, a pilot initiative from Universities Australia, Our Watch and the Victorian Government’s Office for Women. This whole-of-institution strategy to prevent violence against women and people who identify as LGBTIQ+ involves reviewing our policies, systems and culture, and taking action across all aspects of the university: Community, Research, Student Life, Teaching and Learning, and Workplace. The resources, toolkits and standards developed will be rolled out across the University sector following the pilot.

Other Useful Resources

Internal Resources
External Resources