Family and Domestic Violence

Family and domestic violence (FDV) is behaviour which results in physical, sexual and/or psychological damage, forced isolation, economic deprivation, or other behaviour which causes someone to live in fear.

What is family and domestic violence?

Family and domestic violence (FDV) is behaviour which results in physical, sexual and/or psychological damage, forced isolation, economic deprivation, or other behaviour which causes someone to live in fear.

This behaviour is commonly experienced from a partner, ex-partner, family member, someone close to you or in a family-like arrangement such as carers or flatmates. Family and domestic violence is against the law.

It's not just physical

You do not have to be physically hit or hurt to have experienced domestic and family violence. Domestic and family violence is more than physical abuse. It includes behaviour that is threatening and controlling that can cause you to fear for your own safety or another person’s safety.

Other types of domestic and family violence include:

  • Emotional abuse e.g. manipulation, isolation, put-downs, mind games
  • Financial abuse e.g. forcing you to hand over control of income or assets, coercing you to take on debt or sign a contract, not allowing you to earn an income
  • Sexual abuse e.g. any unwanted sexual activity
  • Social abuse e.g. insulting you in public
  • Threats of physical violence and revenge
  • Property damage, for example, smashing your belongings
  • Harming or threatening to harm your pets

Domestic and family violence can leave you feeling stressed, anxious and/or depressed and have an impact on your health and wellbeing.

Our commitment

Foundation Housing recognises its role and responsibility as an active participant in a coordinated approach to FDV response and prevention strategies.

We also recognise that the needs and safety of children should be paramount in all circumstances. We incorporate provisions for circumstances involving FDV across tenancy and property management policies and practices.

Assistance available

Assistance that can be provided to people experiencing FDV includes:

  • Referral to services providing support and assistance to families and individuals
  • The assessment of tenant support needs that FHL can assist with
  • The assessment of tenant liability as a result of damage related to FDV
  • The assessment of priority transfer applications
  • The provision for charging an absentee rent
  • The provision of extra property security measures
  • Where the person affected by FDV is not the primary tenant but is independently eligible for housing assistance, we will seek to house the applicant by offering her or him a property with their own tenancy, subject to availability and joint waitlist eligibility.

Locks and security fixtures

Tenants who are experiencing FDV may change the locks to the property without first obtaining permission. The locks may be changed by licensed personnel, and a set of keys must be provided to us within 7 days. Similarly, garage door controllers and other remote devices may also be changed for this reason.

Tenants who are experiencing FDV may also elect to fit additional security fixtures to the property (e.g. CCTV, security screens, and alarm systems) at their own expense, and without first obtaining FHL’s permission. At the end of the tenancy, FHL may request that the tenant removes the fixtures and returns the property to its original condition.


We can make a referral to a support service. A referral includes information about you, including your name, phone number, what has happened and information about any court notices or protection orders.

It also includes any information about the person who hurt you, so that the service understands your situation and needs. A referral is automatic when police officers attend a domestic and family violence incident or where there are domestic violence proceedings in court.

Support services

After a referral is made, a support service will contact you and offer you help with different issues you may face. Support may include:

  • safety planning
  • emergency accommodation
  • counselling
  • access to financial assistance
  • court support
  • other services you may need to increase your safety.

Emergency Contacts

Contact the Domestic Violence Line, available 24/7, on 1800 656 463. If you are in immediate danger, call Emergency Triple Zero 000.

Advice and information

Our Tenant Support team can give you information about the services that offer further advice and support, including on things such as tenancy advice and legal issues. With your permission, we will refer you for help.