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In Tasmania, the Family Violence Act 2004 defines family violence as any of the following types of conduct committed by a person directly or indirectly, against that person’s spouse or partner:

  • assault, including sexual assault
  • threats, coercion intimidation, or verbal abuse
  • abduction
  • stalking and bullying
  • economic abuse
  • emotional abuse or intimidation
  • contravening a Family Violence Order
  • damage caused indirectly or directly to the property of spouse or partner or an affected child

You can learn about the forms of family violence here.

You can contact Family Violence Response and Referral Line on 1800 633 937.

If you require emergency assistance, please call 000. To report an incident of family violence, contact the Tasmania Police Assistance Line on 13 14 44 or attend your local police station.

The terms ‘Domestic Violence’ and ‘Family Violence’ are often used interchangeably.

However, the scope of relationships covered by Domestic and Family Violence Legislation varies across the States and Territories. In other jurisdictions, violence perpetrated by a spouse or partner may be known as domestic violence or intimate partner violence, and family violence is a broader term that can include violence between other family members.

In Tasmania, the term ‘family violence’ is used to acknowledge that children are impacted when violence is directed at one of their Carers and, as a result, are victim-survivors in their own right.
For more information, please visit https://www.safefromviolence.tas.gov.au/family-violence

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria provides the following possible indicators:

  • Person seems afraid of their partner or is always very anxious to please them
  • Person has stopped seeing friends or family or cuts phone conversations short when the partner is in the room
  • Partner often criticises or humiliates in front of other people
  • Person says their partner pressures or forces them to do sexual things that they don’t want to do
  • Partner often orders about or makes all the decisions (e.g. partner controls all the money, makes decisions about social activities)
  • Person often talks about partner’s ‘jealousy’, ‘bad temper’ or ‘possessiveness’
  • Person has become anxious or depressed, has lost confidence, or is unusually quiet
  • Person has physical injuries (bruises, broken bones, sprains, cuts, etc.) and may give unlikely explanations for physical injuries
  • The children seem afraid of the partner, have behavioural problems, or are very withdrawn or anxious
  • Person is reluctant to leave their children with the partner
  • After a person has left the relationship, the partner is constantly calling, harassing, stalking electronically, coming to the house, or waiting outside

A lot of people feel that what happens in a relationship is private and that they shouldn’t interfere with personal issues. Family violence, however, is everybody’s business. If we fail to act or to say something, then the violence can continue.

The most important thing you can do is to let the person know that you are there for them and that you support them no matter what their decision. If the person feels isolated and judged, it is less likely that they will seek help and make informed decisions.

Let her know that you are worried about her and her children (if she has children). Tell her that you are there to support her and ask her if you can do anything to help.

Listen to what she has to say. Take her seriously and believe her. It has taken a lot of courage for her to talk to you. Even if you think her partner is a nice person, people who choose violence can often be charming but show a different side of themselves in the home.

Encourage her and try to build up her confidence in herself. Let her know you think she is brave to talk about the abuse and praise her for seeking help.

Check-in with her from time to time. Offer to help her with practical things like babysitting, cooking, driving her to appointments, or providing her with a place to stay for a few nights.
Let her know what services are available to her and how she can access them. She may not be comfortable with talking to you, so let her know that there are other people she can talk to. Assist her in accessing these services if she requests it.

You can find a list of Support Services here.

Many factors can contribute to a woman becoming homeless, including family violence, lack of affordable housing, job loss and unemployment, lack of social support network, mental illness, and physical disability. Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women across Australia.

If you or someone you know needs emergency accommodation, please call us on 03 6273 8455 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday or submit a confidential online inquiry.

For immediate assistance, Housing Connect is available on 1800 800 588, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We will take your details and ask questions about your current circumstances. All information you provide is confidential. We may suggest other services you can call if we don’t have any accommodation available.

If we can accommodate you, a team member will meet with you and will explain how much rent you need to pay, the support options available, and explain how things work at our Shelter.

Unfortunately, accommodation requests far exceed availability. We match women and children with the units we have available, taking into consideration your needs such as children, transport options, accessibility, and safety.

Generally, you can stay for up to 12 weeks.

We will work with you and your Housing Connect Worker to help you find long term housing.

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate pets, but we can talk to you about support services that may be available to you such as kennelling and foster placement.

We have a mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units, that are fully furnished, private, secure, clean, and comfortable. Each with their own private bathroom and a kitchen. We will supply you with the basic items including bedding, towels, staple pantry items, and some toiletries.

We have a library of DVDs and books you can borrow.

You are welcome to bring personal items however we do not have the space to store furniture and larger items.

Unfortunately, there is no parking on site. However, you will have access to a car park next door.

During your stay, you will be required to pay rent, which is based on your income, if you have one. If you are eligible for rent assistance, this will be applied to your rent payments. If you don’t have an income, we can talk to you about your options.

You will also be required to pay amounts to cover electricity weekly and an additional small weekly fee which is held to cover incidental damage and extra cleaning if the accommodation is not returned in the same condition as when you arrived. If the accommodation is returned in the same condition this fee will be refunded.

Your privacy is important to us.

We protect the privacy of all individuals who contact us and use our service. Our team, visitors onsite and other individuals and families accommodated at our Shelter are required to sign and abide by a Confidentially Agreement.

Sometimes we need to share information with other support services, but we would always talk to you about this first.

We are an independent, non-faith based, organisation that values the diversity and the unique contribution of all, and we are an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Since 1974, our mission has been to provide safe, crisis accommodation and support to all women and children experiencing family violence and or homelessness, and we continue to support all individuals who identify as female, including transwomen.

Men who are experiencing homelessness can contact Housing Connect on 1800 800 588.
Bethlehem House also provides emergency accommodation for men, and they can be contacted on (03) 6234 4594.

We have very dedicated volunteers that support us with gardening, collection of food hampers/donation boxes, programs, and who provide services such as hairdressing and nail care.

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit our Volunteers Page or contact our Volunteer Coordinator on volunteer@hobartws.org.au for more information

More questions?

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Hobart Women's Shelter provides safe, emergency accommodation and support to women and children affected by family violence and/or those experiencing homelessness.

If you or someone you know needs emergency accommodation, please call us on 03 6273 8455 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

For immediate assistance, Housing Connect is available on 1800 800 588, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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