Equal Opportunity SA does not provide emergency assistance or support services to people experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence or sexual assault. If you, a child, or another person is in immediate danger, call 000.

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In June 2023 the Parliament of South Australia passed the Equal Opportunity (Domestic Abuse) Amendment Bill 2023.

It introduced protections against discrimination for individuals with experience of domestic and family violence, and provides an avenue of complaint to Equal Opportunity SA that did not exist previously.

From 1 September 2023, complaints can be made to Equal Opportunity SA about domestic abuse discrimination that occurs:

  • at work
  • when applying for a job
  • during the provision of goods and services
  • when looking for a place to live.

How the new laws work

Find out more about the new protections below.

Domestic abuse is an experience of domestic or family violence as defined in the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009.

Domestic abuse discrimination is being treated unfavourably because you are, or have been, subjected to domestic abuse.

For example, being refused accommodation, or being treated unfavourably at work because you have experienced domestic abuse may amount to unlawful domestic abuse discrimination.

Discrimination can also occur if you are treated unfavourably because you do not, or cannot, comply with a reasonable requirement that others can because they are not domestic abuse victims.

Treating someone unfavourably because they are a relative or family member of a domestic abuse victim may also result in unlawful discrimination.

Some exemptions apply for organisations providing accommodation to persons subjected to domestic abuse, and to those employed in the care of a child at a place where the child resides.

If the type of discrimination you experienced is covered under the Equal Opportunity Act, you can make a complaint to Equal Opportunity SA.

For more information about the complaint process and how to make a complaint, go to our page on Making a Complaint.

You can also alert the individual or business directly using our Anti-Discrimination Register or complaint letter templates.

If you are unsure, or have any questions, you can call us on (08) 7322 7070 or email equal@sa.gov.au.

All calls and emails to Equal Opportunity SA are confidential.

A list of support services is available at the bottom of this page.

If you decide to make a complaint, we will need your contact details so that we can communicate with you by telephone and email.

Your personal contact information will remain confidential.

It will not be disclosed to the person or organisation you complain about.

You do not need to provide us with your residential address, unless your complaint relates to the place where you live.

The Commissioner may need to ask you for information about your experience of domestic abuse.

This is because, to deal with a complaint of domestic abuse discrimination under the Equal Opportunity Act, the Commissioner must be satisfied that the person making the complaint is, or has been, subjected to domestic abuse.

The Equal Opportunity Act says that sufficient evidence may include:

  • evidence that an intervention order has been issued under the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 to protect the complainant from domestic abuse.
  • evidence that the complainant has sought or received assistance in relation to domestic abuse from:
    • a registered health practitioner
    • a charitable organisation
    • a person or body of a class prescribed by the regulations.
  • evidence that otherwise satisfies the Commissioner.

Any evidence provided to Equal Opportunity SA will remain confidential.

Information for businesses

The new laws protect people from being discriminated against because of their experience with domestic abuse.

However, not every act that involves a victim-survivor of domestic abuse will amount to unlawful discrimination.

For example, the new laws do not prohibit employers from taking reasonable action in relation to an employee, if it is in accordance with fair and reasonable policies that apply equally to all employees.

If a complaint is made about you or your business, refer to our information on Complaints against you.

Business resources

We have developed a quick guide to help employers, service providers, landlords and other organisations understand the new laws.

A quick guide to domestic abuse discrimination laws
(PDF, 260.2 KB)

Support services

Domestic Violence Crisis Line 24-hour
1800 800 098 (freecall)

Women's Information Service 9am-5pm weekdays
1800 188 158 (freecall)
Ground Floor, 101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide

Yarrow Place 24-hour Rape and Sexual Assault Service
1800 817 421

1800RESPECT National 24-hour Help Line
1800 737 732

Homeless Connect SA 24-hour
1800 003 308 (freecall)

Click here for other services and homelessness programs