SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Family violence is a crime. Every woman and child has the right to be safe.
- Family violence is a complex issue and women need individual support to meet their needs.
- Victoria has a range of services available to help women experiencing or escaping from family violence.
Family (or domestic) violence is a crime and everyone has the right to be safe. Research shows that women are much more likely to be victims of family violence than men, though men and boys can be victims too. Family violence is characterised by one person (usually a male) wanting to be dominant and have control over other family members (usually women and children) and includes emotional, psychological, physical, sexual and financial abuse. It has an enormous impact on the physical and mental health of women and children, and the effects can be felt for many years.
Family violence is a complex issue and women experiencing it need individual support and access to support services. A range of services is available in Victoria to help women make changes and choices for the future.
safe steps Family Violence Response Centre (formerly Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service)
This is a statewide 24-hour, seven-days-a-week, confidential telephone service that provides information, support and access to safe accommodation or refuges for women and their children. This is the best first point of contact for someone who wants to leave a violent partner or family situation.
The service can act quickly in urgent situations and can provide transport for women without a car or money. Support can be requested via:
1800 RESPECT: National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Service
This is an Australia-wide 24-hour, 7-days–a-week telephone and online counselling service for anyone who has experienced, or is at risk of, family violence or sexual assault.
inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
inTouch provides information, support and referrals to women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in their first language. The service operates Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Tel. or Toll Free or visit their .
Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women’s Service
This service provides support to Aboriginal women and children, non-Aboriginal women who are mothers of Aboriginal children, and non-Aboriginal women who have Aboriginal partners, who are experiencing family violence. It provides urgent crisis services and ongoing support. Phone during office hours or or visit their .
Djirra - Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria
This service provides legal advice, information, referral and support to Aboriginal victims/survivors or people at immediate risk of family violence and sexual assault as well as to parents/carers of Aboriginal children. It is open from 9am-10pm Monday to Friday. Tel. or freecall , or visit their
Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV)
The Orange Door
is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children. brings together workers from specialist family violence services, family services, Aboriginal services, and services for men who use violence.
- North Eastern Melbourne - Tel.
- Bayside Peninsula - Tel.
- Mallee - Tel.
- Inner Gippsland - Tel.
- Barwon - Tel.
Family violence outreach workers
Family violence outreach workers are located throughout Victoria to support women who are experiencing or escaping from family violence. They work with women to develop safety plans to enhance the safety of themselves and their children.
- information on options and resources
- referral to other services
- case management support
- counselling and financial counselling.
Refuges and shelters
Many organisations provide safe and secure refuges, shelters, or emergency accommodation for women and children escaping faily violence. They assist women with emotional support, legal assistance, help with finding permanent housing and applying for appropriate benefits.
The location of some refuges is kept secret to protect the safety and security of women and children residents. For this reason, referral to refuges and shelters is via (previously theWomen’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service of Victoria).
Other emergency housing
Additional emergency housing is provided independently by various community and church-based organisations. This accommodation varies in the level of support provided, the length of stay allowed, and what is required of residents.
Where to get help
- In an emergency, if you, a child, or another person is in immediate danger, always call triple zero (000) for police or ambulance services
- Counselling Line Tel. 1800RESPECT () (24 hours a day, seven days per week)
- (previously the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service) Tel. or (24 hours a day, seven days per week)
- Tel. or
- Tel. or