Family, domestic and sexual violence

Family, domestic, and sexual violence are significant issues in Australia, spanning all socioeconomic and demographic groups.

While impacting individuals, families, and communities, these forms of violence primarily target women and children.

Primary Health Tasmania has a role in supporting the primary care response to these kinds of violence so people receive the help they need as soon as possible.

Content warning

People are encouraged to care for their wellbeing when engaging with the content on this page. ​

The following services can be contacted for support:​

What is family, domestic and sexual violence?

Violence and abuse take many forms which include emotional abuse and neglect as well as physical and sexual abuse.

This can include things like:

  • making people feel confused, manipulating emotions, encouraging self-doubt
  • putting people down, disrespecting them and publicly humiliating them
  • viewing text messages, emails and social media without consent; checking phones and controlling the use of technology
  • making threats to cause harm
  • limiting access to money and controlling how it’s spent
  • isolating people from their family or friends through force or coercion
  • using religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate or shame.

Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person – regardless of their relationship to the victim – in any setting.

Around 11% (2.2 million) of people have experienced violence from a current or previous partner they have lived with.

Around 14% (2.8 million) of people aged 18 years and over have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 in Australia.

More than 1 in 3 girls and almost 1 in 5 boys experience child sexual abuse.

A pilot to support the primary care response

Primary Health Tasmania has received Australian Government funding for the Supporting the Primary Care Response to Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Pilot.

This pilot aims to provide increased support to GPs and other primary care providers to assist in the early identification of family, domestic and sexual violence and child sexual abuse, and to aid early intervention. It was also help better connect the different services providing care to people affected by violence.

We are using the funding to:

  • build our knowledge and understanding of local needs so we can target our work to better support identification, response and referral activities in primary care
  • provide education and training to GPs and other primary care providers. This will help ensure better care for victim-survivors through improved recognition, response and referral
  • establish ‘service integrators’ to act as a conduit between primary care and specialist family, domestic and sexual services across Tasmania.

The responsibilities of service integrators will include:

  • connecting primary care providers and specialist support services
  • building the capacity of primary care providers
  • building the capacity of specialist services.

Helpful links