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Myth Busting: What happens if I call the domestic violence crisis line?

HerCanberra Team

It’s a sad but true fact that rates of domestic violence spike over the Christmas period.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Service is a 24 hour crisis intervention service available to anyone in the ACT region who is experience domestic, intimate partner or family violence.

Here are some commonly asked questions:

Do I have to tell you my name? 

No. We invite you provide your name and/or to become a client, but you are not required to.  If you become a client we will keep a record of our conversations with you in order to provide ongoing support and useful referrals. 

If you choose to call DVCS anonymously we will still provide you with information and support but won’t be able to contact other services on your behalf. 

Do you record our conversation?

We do not make sound recordings of conversations. We do keep a record of contacts in our data base, either under your name, if you are a client and identify yourself, or anonymously if not.

How much does it cost to talk to you or become a client?

Nothing, our service is free to all.

What happens if I call back another time?

You can ask us to check over your file and call you back before we continue the conversation, so you don’t have to re-describe your situation.  To ensure that we are able to maintain a 24 hour service, we do not case manage clients. 

This means that whenever you call our service you might speak to a different worker.  Any worker answering our 24 hour line can speak to you about your situation.  This is why we do encourage you to provide your name so we can keep records of conversations and ensure you receive appropriate information and support.

Will you tell me to leave my abusive partner?

No.  Our priority is to support people experiencing domestic, intimate partner and family violence to increase their safety. We acknowledge all clients have unique situations and experiences and we work with clients and their specific needs whilst always trying to best address their safety concerns.  

You are the expert in your situation, your hopes and intentions, access to resources and you’re your own capacity.  Effective support starts from where you are at.

Do I have to get a DVO (Domestic Violence Order)?

No.  DVCS is a client focused service, and we work with you to assist you to do what you determine is best for you at the time.  If you do want to obtain a DVO we are able to assist in this process.

You can apply for a DVO if you are remaining in the relationship or have left.  You can also apply for a DVO if you are experiencing violence from other family members. 

Will you report my call to Police?

In most cases, no, but if a worker witnesses an incident or hears one occurring when we are in contact with you, or determines there is risk to yourself or others we do need to prioritise your safety and contact police.

If you would like our assistance in reporting an incident to Police, we are happy to help.

Will you report my call to Child Youth & Protection Services (if there are children involved)?

Not necessarily, it would depend on the circumstances.  But we do prioritise the safety of children and recognise that they are the most vulnerable members of the family. 

If we are considering sharing information with CYPS we will let you know and talk to you about the reasons.   

What services does DVCS provide?

In addition to our crisis intervention we:

  • Can assist people to access emergency accommodation
  • Run support groups
  • Provide young people’s outreach for primary aged children and their families
  • Provide court advocacy
  • Track matters going through Family Violence criminal court processes
  • Provide education and training on Domestic Violence to the Canberra community.

Further information can be found at dvcs.org.au or by calling our 24 hour crisis line on 02 6280 0900.

If you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 000.


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