Listening to young people’s experience of family violence

The Children and Young People Commissioner and the Family Safety Hub partnered to listen to young people’s experience of domestic and family violence. 70 young people aged 13 to 24 shared their views or personal stories of living with family violence during in-depth interviews and group discussions.

Domestic and family violence is hard. It is hard to live with. It is hard to stop or prevent. And sometimes it is hard to hear and talk about. At the bottom of this page are some ways to find people you can talk to if you need help.

Domestic and family violence impacts all children and young people who live with it. They do not need to be directly assaulted, or even present, to be affected. Our consultations confirmed that children and young people are victims in their own right, with their own recovery and support needs. Yet children and young people are regularly overlooked or only considered as an add-on to their parent. The views of young people are missing from the services we provide and the policies we design. In short, adults design policy and system responses that have failed to meet young people’s needs.

By listening to young people we have generated key messages that will help the ACT Government, the service sector and the community to improve support and services for children and young people affected by domestic and family violence.

We are sharing what we heard with those that can bring about change. Because all children and young people have the right to be safe, and to get the help that they need.

Young People’s Experiences of Family Violence Booklet (PDF 4MB)

Now You Have Heard Us, What Will You Do? Project Report (PDF 2 MB)

This video shows what young people told us. The video asks adults an important question – what can you do to make change for young people affected by domestic and family violence?

Do you want to talk or are you worried about someone you know?

These are some of the places that you can try if you want to talk about your experiences of domestic and family violence, get help with a situation you are currently in, or find help for a friend:

For young people:

It can be hard to find the right person to talk to and many young people have not been able to get the support they need and deserve.

We understand that things in your family may not change, or that it might take a long time until things are different.

We also know there are good people out there who are kind and get what you’re going through. If you want to try talking to someone, or get some advice, these organisations may be able to help:

ACT Public Advocate and Children and Young People Commissioner

P: 02 6205 2222
If you are a child or a young person living in Canberra, and you have something you want to say or something you want to ask, or if you need help to get the support you need, you can call or send an email to Jodie Griffiths-Cook, the ACT Public Advocate and Children and Young People Commissioner. She and her team are there to listen to and help children and young people in Canberra.

CREATE Foundation

P: 6232 2409
CREATE represents the voices of children and young people who are in or who have lived in out-of-home care. They also organise great ways for children and young people in care to have fun with each other and stay connected to their siblings.


P: 1800 650 890
Headspace provides free and confidential telephone and online service for young people aged 12 to 25.

Junction Youth Health Service

P: 02 6232 2423
Junction Youth Health Service provides free healthcare and support services to young people aged 12 to 25.

Kids Helpline

P: 1800 55 1800
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.

Youth Beyond Blue

P: 1300 224 636
Beyond Blue provides information and confidential telephone and online counselling for young people aged 12 to 25 who may be experiencing anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts.

For everybody:

Domestic Violence Crisis Service

P: 02 6280 0900
DVCS can provide support 24/7 to people impacted by domestic and family violence, including those who are at risk of using violence.


P: 1800 737 732
1800RESPECT provides support through phone or web chat for those experiencing sexual, domestic and family violence.

Mensline Australia

P: 1300 78 99 78
Mensline can provide online or video counselling for men affected by or considering using violence.

Men’s Referral Service

The Men’s Referral Service is a men’s family violence telephone counselling, information and referral service operating around the country and is the central point of contact for men taking responsibility for their violent behaviour.

Parentline ACT

P: 02 6287 3833
Parentline provides confidential counselling service for parents and carers as well as parenting courses and support.

Family Drug Support Australia

P: 1300 368 186
Family Drug Support helps families affected by alcohol and other drugs with telephone support services for users, families and carers.

Family Relationship Advice Line

P: 1800 050 321
The Family Relationship Advice Line is a national telephone service that helps families affected by relationship or separation issues, including information on parenting arrangements after separation.

A Gender Agenda

P: 02 6162 1924
A Gender Agenda supports the goals and needs of intersex, transgender and gender diverse adults and young people in Canberra and the surrounding region.