Stopping sexual assault and domestic violence - Full Stop.

About Sexual & Domestic Violence

Sexual assault is a crime. It can happen to anyone and is never the fault of the victim.

To get practical assistance, including counselling, please contact Rape & Domestic Services Australia, or visit their Local Support Services page which lists a range of support services available in Australia.


What is Sexual Assault?


Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent, or if a child or young person under 18 is exposed to sexual activities.


Sexual assault is a crime, and is never the fault of the victim.


There are a number of terms used in the community to describe different forms of sexual assault, and these are different from the legal terms used by the courts. Find out more about these terms here.



What is Domestic Violence?


Domestic violence is when someone uses violence, threats, force or intimidation to control or manipulate a partner or former partner. The violence is intentional and systematic, and in many cases increases in frequency and severity the longer the relationship goes on.


Family violence is a broader term that refers to violence between family members, as well as between intimate partners. It is often used to identify the experiences of Indigenous people, because it includes the broad range of marital and kinship relationships in which violence may occur.


Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, age, culture, ethnicity, religion, disability, location or economic status.


Domestic and family violence can include, but is not limited to: social, psychological, verbal, emotional, financial, physical and spiritual abuse, as well as harassment and stalking.


Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia has a range of factsheets available about sexual assault and domestic violence. Explore the myths and facts, the impacts of violence, and the tactics used by perpetrators. Find out what to do when someone has been assaulted, and what services are available. Information is also available on reporting to police, medical treatment, and legal support options.