You are here: HomeNeed HelpFamily & Domestic ViolenceLearn More About Domestic Violence › Vulnerable Groups

Vulnerable groups

Support for Vulnerable Group

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people LGBTIQ+ CALD community People with disabilities

Everybody deserves to feel safe and respected

While family and domestic violence can affect anyone, women and children experience it at far greater rates. For vulnerable groups there can also be other dangerous factors involved, such as discrimination.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children, the LGBTIQ+ community, people with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people experience violence at very high rates. They also face extra barriers when seeking safety and support.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Family and domestic violence impacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children at shocking levels – making them the most disadvantaged group in Australia.

Aboriginal women are:

  • 34 times more likely to be hospitalised from family violence
  • 11 times more likely to be killed as a result of a violent assault*

It is important to know that family and domestic violence is not a part of Indigenous Australian cultures. The frequency of violence and the barriers to seeking help need to be understood in light of the historical harm and disruption.

In particular:

  • Racism
  • Extreme poverty
  • The impacts of the stolen generation
  • Inherited trauma

Aboriginal women face the same gender discrimination as other women. But they also face the impacts of racial discrimination that may stop them from reporting abuse.

This includes:

  • Fear of losing their children
  • Poor police responses
  • Distrust of legal and support services

Women should not have to live in fear of their partners while also fearing the system if they seek help.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) provides culturally safe sexual assault and domestic violence counselling, information and referrals for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

The Salvation Army provides services across the country that are inclusive to people of all backgrounds with programs that are designed to meet the needs of our clients.

If you are experiencing violence or abuse at home, please visit our Find help now page for services in your state


Djirra is a culturally safe place that supports Aboriginal women experiencing family violence. This service also assists non-Aboriginal people who are parents of Aboriginal children experiencing family violence.

Phone: 1800 105 303.

Northern Territory

Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council works with the women and their families of the NYP region in Central Australia to help them lead safe and healthy lives, with improved life choices.

Phone: 08 89582345

*As revealed in a submission by the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service to the Victorian Royal Commission


rainbow flags hung up as bunting

We understand that people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ+) experience discrimination in their day to day life. As a result, it may stop them from seeking help if they’re experiencing family and domestic violence.

The Salvation Army Social Mission’s Family Violence stream is committed to making sure our services are safe and welcoming spaces for members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Our services in St Kilda are Rainbow Tick accredited, and we are working to accredit all our Victorian services this year, and nationally in the years to come. We are proud to be the first Victorian faith-based organisation and the first family violence and homelessness service to receive this recognition for being inclusive and non-discriminatory.

In 2018, The Salvation Army, along with ten faith-based family violence service providers, signed a joint public statement. A commitment was made to LGBTIQ+ people that they would be able to safely and openly access faith-based services without fear of discrimination.

You do not have to reveal personal information to us. If you do, our staff will make sure that your information will be stored securely and shared only with your consent

If you are experiencing violence or abuse at home, please visit our Find help now page for services in your state.

Services such as W|Respect offer programs for LGBTIQ+ people who are using violence and want to stop.

Phone: 1800 542 847

More information on understanding family violence in LGBTIQ+ relationships can be found on the Thorne Harbour website.

Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities

Family and domestic violence affects people from all backgrounds. For culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups and migrant and refugee women, the violence is elevated by factors that affect these groups.

This includes:

  • Limited English language skills
  • Visa status
  • Lack of knowledge about support networks and the legal system

This can leave a CALD person in a helpless position – feeling like there are almost no options available.

InTouch – Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence provides family violence services for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Their Motivation for Change program helps men reflect on their behaviours and learn ways to relate without using violence.

Phone: 1800 755 988

If you are experiencing violence or abuse at home, please visit our Find help now page for services in your state.

People with disabilities

woman in a wheelchair on a footpath outside

All people with a disability are at a greater risk of experiencing violence. But women with a disability face both gender and disability-based discrimination. This makes them even more vulnerable to family and domestic violence.

Many people with disabilities live with the risk of being exposed to more people who may use violence against them due to their personal care needs.

Violence may be carried out by a partner, relative, paid or unpaid support worker, as well as strangers and other residents (if staying in residential care).

It can include:

  • Withholding food, medicines, support services or equipment
  • Sexual violence and/or physical violence
  • Verbal abuse
  • Forced isolation
  • Neglect
  • Withdrawal of care
  • Taking control of finances and refusing to pay for medication or equipment
  • Threats to hurt guide dogs or pets

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) provide sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling, information and referrals for people living with a disability.

The Sunny app provides support for women with a disability who have experienced violence and abuse.

Please also see our Find help now page to find referral services in your state.

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

Diversity & Inclusion logo

The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

13 SALVOS (13 72 58)

Gifts of $2 or more to the social work of The Salvation Army in Australia are tax deductible.Details and ABNs

Hope where it's needed most