Staying Home Leaving Violence

SHLV supports women and children to stay safely in their home when ending a violent relationship. Through supporting women who choose to stay in their home the project will assess safety needs, seek to improve social, health, economic and legal outcomes for families and promote accountability for offenders of violence.

Please contact SHLV Project Workers for any referrals on 9677 1962.

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You have the right to stay at home. If you have suffered from domestic/family violence why should you and your children suffer the trauma of leaving your home, your routine, your support networks and all that is familiar to you?

The SHLV Pilot Project can assist you and your children in the following ways:

  • Provide practical and emotional support, so you can remain in your home after ending a violent relationship

  • Carry out safety assessments and develop a safety plan with you provide security equipment such as monitored alarms, new locks, security doors and improved lighting to make your family home safer

  • Provide court support for Apprehended Violence Order applications and Interim Orders.


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse and control perpetrated against a partner or former partner and includes

Physical abuse perpetrated against a victim and includes but is not limited to punching, pushing, kicking, slapping, child abuse, hair pulling, use of weapons, destruction of property, being locked out of or imprisoned in house/ property, and harm to pets in front of victims. 

Sexual abuse including rape, being forced to perform sexual act including oral sex against will, being forced to view pornographic material, coercing someone to have sex without protecting them against pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections.

Spiritual abuse includes denying people the right to participate in religious ceremonies or celebrations or accessing local religious community activities. It could also include denying people the ability to practice their religion.

Psychological abuse includes threats of violence, intimidation, control, verbal and emotional abuse including put downs and blaming; stripping someone of their self worth and generally promoting an environment of fearfulness.  

Social abuse includes controlling who a person sees, when they see them and often results in people being isolated from all social and family networks.   

Financial abuse includes controlling all finances. Not allowing a person to have any disposable income or access to bank accounts. If a women works requiring her wage to be used for household expenses whilst the partners wage is used for only their needs or wants.



Family Violence affects kids too

Children live in a small world made up of their bed, their friends, their family, their home. Last year 1 in every 54 Australian children aged 0-4 spent time in a refuge as a result of domestic violence. Children have the right to live safely in their own home.

Children are traumatised when they see someone they love being harmed. They are also at risk of becoming victims and/or abusers of violence. A child's right to safety is paramount and children are particularly vulnerable in domestic/family violence contexts due to their dependence on adults to care for them. Even if children show little or no signs of being affected that they still are and children are aware even if they can't put it into words.

There has been an increasing amount of research on the effect of family /domestic violence on children. Overwhelmingly the research has concluded that witnessing or experiencing domestic violence has a negative effect on a child's development. In NSW it is classified as a notifiable offence and legislation requires workers who are aware of children witnessing or experiencing domestic violence to make a ‘risk of harm' report to DoCS. The impact on children should never be minimised. Regardless of age children are always affected whether they experience or witness violence or abuse in the home.

Children may experience family violence in one of the following ways:

  • Being targets of violence and abuse themselves

  • Being witnesses,

  • Being aware of family violence behaviour,

  • Trying to intervene or seek help.

Children will be affected in various ways if exposed to domestic/family violence. All children will respond differently however some of the effects that domestic/family violence may have on children are:

  • Believing they are the cause of the violence abuse

  • Signs of poor health and development

  • Physical complaints like headaches and stomach aches

  • Bad sleeping patterns

  • Being reactive to their environment

  • Affected by emotional deprivation

  • Ongoing fear

  • Frequent illness

  • Development of behavioural and social struggles lack confidence

  • Belief that the violence is their fault

  • Struggles at school

  • Difficulty in concentrating, social relationships, anxiety and withdrawal.

  • More responsibility than is normally required of a child as the mother struggles to cope.

Some of the long term consequences of witnessing/experiencing violence could be

  • A belief that using violence and control is an effective problem solving strategy, that it is ‘normal'

  • Reinforcement of negative sex role models

  • Finding it difficult to interact socially with other children

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • An interruption of the bonding attachment process between child and caregiver\


What is an exclusion order?

An exclusion order allows you to remain at home as part of the Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), and excludes, or removes, the violent person.

An exclusion order is one of the conditions which may be applied for in an AVO. It prohibits the violent person from living in and/or visiting the home of the protected person.

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Is this something for me?

Before applying for an exclusion order, there are a number of questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Will you be, and feel, safe if you stay at home?

  • Will you be fearful because the abuser knows where you are living?

  • Would you prefer to stay at home and have the violent person leave?

  • Do you have children, and would they be better off remain­ing at home with you?

  • Can you afford to pay the housing costs?


How do I get an exclusion order?

A Magistrate can only make an exclusion order if it is requested in the application for an AVO. It's important to discuss this option with a lawyer, court support worker or police officer when applying for an AVO.

Sometime's its best to get an exclusion order as part of a Telephone Interim Order (TIO), which police can apply for after hours, following a violent incident. If an exclusion order is refused you can seek advice from a Chamber Registrar at any local court.

The following telephone helplines are available 24 hours for information, support and referral:

  • Domestic Violence Line: 1800 65 64 63   

  • Rape Crisis Line: 1800 424 017   

  • Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800  

  • Mensline: 1300 789 978


Click here to download a Directory of Domestic Violence Services for Blacktown LGA.


The Staying Home Leaving Violence Pilot was funded by the National Community Crime Prevention Programme, an Australian Government Initiative and the Mt Druitt Family Violence Response and Support Strategy. The program is now funded by Family and Community Services NSW.