What Is DV NSW?

Domestic Violence NSW is the NSW peak representative body for specialist domestic and family violence services.

Operating from a feminist, social justice framework, we work to improve policy, legislative and program responses to domestic and family violence (DFV).

As the DFV peak body, our activities include:

  • Research, policy development and guidance to the government and NGO sector
  • Supporting the development and implementation of prevention and awareness work and campaigns
  • Helping develop integrated responses that prioritise the safety and wellbeing of DFV victim-survivors and hold perpetrators of violence accountable
  • Systemic advocacy and representation to government and other decision makers
  • Training and education
  • Supporting the development of best practice responses and services, including Primary Prevention
  • Information dissemination to our members, partners, the media and communities
  • Sector consultation, coordination and capacity building to enable better service delivery and functioning of community organisations.


We are not a direct support service but we aim to help victims/survivors by supporting services and raising awareness in our communities.


Who do we work with?


Domestic Violence NSW works in partnership with government, non-government, academia, the media, business and communities.

We work we anyone who is interested in creating a safer world where women, children and communities can live free from violence.

We sit on a number of government advisory groups to provide advice on policy and legislation and work closely with government departments.

We co-convene the NSW Women’s Alliance (with the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia).

We also work with partner organisations from other states and territories such as Domestic Violence Victoria and the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) to support their aims.


The DVNSW Story


Formerly the NSW Women’s Refuge Movement, the organisation dates back to March 1974 when a group of feminist activists started the first women’s refuge in NSW named Elsie.

The service worked towards addressing the absence of alternatives for women at that time by providing a safe option for women and children escaping domestic violence.

This refuge was to be the precursor to the establishment of more refuges and variety of other specialist domestic and family violence services.

In recognition of the evolution of services provided by members - from “refuge” to holistic specialist domestic violence services - members voted in July 2013 to expand the membership to all specialist domestic and family violence services, operating within a feminist framework and to adopt a name change from NSW Women’s Refuge Movement to Domestic Violence NSW (DVNSW).

These changes emphasise our commitment to advocacy and representation. 

For more details of our story download this document.