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Department of Human Services

South Australian Housing Trust

Domestic abuse policy

The purpose of this policy

This policy outlines how Housing SA helps people affected by domestic abuse, also known as domestic violence.

How Housing SA may help

Housing SA may help by:

  • providing financial assistance into emergency accommodation
  • providing financial assistance into private rental housing
  • registering them for public or Aboriginal housing.

If they are living in public or Aboriginal housing, Housing SA may:

  • transfer them into another public or Aboriginal housing property
  • provide security items to the property - eg security doors, security screens, window locks.

In the interest of the safety and security of victims of domestic abuse, Housing SA also helps perpetrators of domestic abuse.

What domestic abuse is

Abuse is an act that results in, or is intended to result in, any of the below:

  • physical injury
  • emotional or psychological harm
  • denial of financial, social or personal autonomy
  • damage to property owned, used or enjoyed by the victim.

Domestic abuse can happen between two people who are, or have been, in any of the below relationships:

  • domestic partners, or another form of intimate personal relationship where their lives are interrelated and their actions affect each other
  • children, regardless of their age - eg stepchildren, grandchildren, children under the Guardianship of the Minister, and a person acting as their parent
  • siblings, stepsiblings, or other children who regularly stay or live with the other
  • people otherwise related to each other by blood, marriage, adoption or another form of domestic partnership
  • people who are related according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules, or are both members of another culturally recognised family group
  • a carer and the person they are caring for.

Verifying domestic abuse

Housing SA must verify situations of domestic abuse. In urgent situations, verification can take place after Housing SA has provided assistance.

Verification can be verbal or in writing. Acceptable forms of verification include information from:

  • a relevant support agency
  • a third party - eg relatives, friends, neighbours
  • an intervention order
  • a Multi-Agency Protection Service summary
  • an assessment with Housing SA.

Security items

Housing SA will install security items in a public or Aboriginal housing property if the tenant meets all of the below conditions:

  • they are affected by domestic abuse
  • the domestic abuse is verified
  • there is a direct or imminent threat to the personal safety or well-being of the tenant or their children
  • the perpetrator isn't living with the tenant
  • Housing SA determines that security items are essential for the tenant and their household in order to live safely in the property
  • the relevant Housing SA Regional Manager approves the request.

Intervention orders

Housing SA will support the conditions of intervention orders when providing any service. This includes interim intervention orders issued by the police or a court, or final intervention orders confirmed by a court. In an intervention order the victim is the protected person and the perpetrator is the defendant.

Actions Housing SA may take include:

  • the defendant and the protected person can't be on the same Registration of Interest for public or Aboriginal housing
  • if a defendant is excluded from a Housing SA property, Housing SA won't allow them access to that property
  • the defendant and the protected person won't be approved for financial assistance into private rental housing together
  • the defendant has to stay away from, leave or end their tenancy in a public or Aboriginal housing property
  • the defendant can't end their tenancy with Housing SA for the period of time specified in an interim intervention order
  • the defendant's Registration for Transfer won't be approved by Housing SA
  • the Court issues a tenancy order assigning the defendant's public or Aboriginal housing tenancy to the protected person.

Housing SA will report all known breaches of intervention orders to SA Police.

Working with other agencies

Family Safety Framework

The Family Safety Framework is a multi-agency response to high-risk cases of domestic abuse.

Housing SA will complete a Domestic Violence Risk Assessment for people at risk of or currently experiencing domestic abuse, and will refer high-risk cases to a Family Safety Meeting.

Multi-Agency Protection Service

The Multi-Agency Protection Service (MAPS) is a multi-agency partnership that shares information and responds to cases of domestic abuse.

Housing SA responds to actions and requests from MAPS.

Related laws, policies and documents

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting guidelines

  • Domestic abuse guidelines v 9.5

Related policies and other documents

  • Maintenance procedure: Domestic abuse – provisions of security and property damage

Date this policy applies from

29 March 2016

Version number


The online version of the policy is the approved and current version. There is no guarantee that any printed copies are current.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
19 Jan 2019
The DHS website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016