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Increasing Your Safety: Information for People Who Experience Abuse and/or Violence in Relationships

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2010
20 pages
Intended for victims of domestic and family violence living in Queensland, Australia, this booklet provides information on the nature and dynamics of family violence and how victims can increase their safety, as well as how to apply for a domestic-violence order that can prevent further abuse/violence.
The booklet defines "family violence" as occurring "when one person in a relationship uses abuse or violence to maintain power and control over the other person." This can include physical abuse, damaging property, sexual abuse, financial control, verbal abuse, or threatening to do any of the aforementioned actions. One section of the booklet describes how children are affected by domestic violence, even if they have not directly witnessed the abuse/violence. Basic advice for victims of domestic violence is to contact the police when in immediate danger and to seek help when the abuse/violence is first experienced, since the situation will usually get worse. Other advice to victims is to keep a diary of the dates and times when abuse occurs, seek medical help if injured, and seek legal advice about rights and options. Specific practical advice is provided for victims planning to leave the home to escape the abuse. Other sections address the role of the police in domestic abuse cases and how domestic violence is addressed in Queensland law. The law provides that people in a range of domestic relationships can seek protection from the abuser by applying for a domestic violence order. Detailed instructions are presented on how to do this. The booklet also discusses the importance of developing a "safety plan," which involves planning the steps that will be taken when the victim feels threatened or in danger. A sample safety plan if provided. A listing of helpful services and resources is provided.