Women's Safety

Logo with phone number for National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence counselling service - 1800 737 732

If you or someone you know has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault, you can contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

1800RESPECT is a national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information referral service, available 24 hours a day.


According to current statistics, one in three Australian women over the age of 15 will experience physical violence, and almost one in five will experience sexual violence. Living safe and free from violence is everyone's right; reducing violence is everyone's responsibility.

To find out more information visit Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS) for the fact sheet: Violence against Women: Key Statistics (ANROWS)

Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) 

Female Genital Mutilation is the deliberate cutting or altering of the female genital area. It has many names, including cutting, female circumcision and ritual female surgery.

Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. The Australian Government recognises that FGM/C is a significant abuse of human rights, which puts the lives and health of women and girls at risk and is working to end this harmful practice.

Addressing this issue within a human rights framework ensures greater government and community involvement in the protection of girls’ and women’s rights. Evidence shows that community-based approaches aimed at preventing the practice using culturally informed dialogue with communities have shown the most promising results. Prevention education should be delivered within a holistic community-based, culturally sensitive, sexual and reproductive health context.

The Australian Government firmly believes that tradition or culture cannot be cited as a justification for the erosion of women and girls’ human rights.

Legal frameworks

The practice of FGM/C is illegal in every state and territory of Australia. This includes performing FGM/C overseas on a child that usually resides in Australia.

The legislation varies across jurisdictions in Australia, but persons carrying out, or assisting someone else to carry out FGM/C can be liable for imprisonment for up to 21 years. 

If you know someone at risk, or if you’re worried that someone is at risk of FGM/C or is a victim of FGM/C contact the Police on 000.


Latest News


NETFA logoThe Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) has produced the National Education Toolkit for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Awareness (NETFA). The toolkit aims to support community awareness and outreach about FGM/C.  

Programmes & Policies

Contact Us

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6271 5111

More contact information