Understanding family violence and list of available support

6 July 2021
Health Wellbeing PVAW

COVID-19 has impacted many aspects of our lives and routines in the past year, but times of stress and hardship are never an excuse for family violence or abuse. In this article, we have summarised information to help you think about safety and support available.

Understanding family violence 
Family violence is when your partner, ex, carer, family member or someone you’re in a family-like relationship with uses threatening, controlling and violent behaviour that makes you scared for your own - or someone else’s - safety and wellbeing. Family violence doesn’t always involve physical abuse. People use a wide range of abusive behaviours to maintain power and control in relationships. 

Specialist family violence services are open and ready to provide support. These statewide services support people across Victoria: 

Safe steps
Crisis support and accommodation for women and children experiencing family violence in Victoria.
1800 015 188 (24 hours, 7 days)
Email: safesteps@safesteps.org.au
Online Chat & Website: safesteps.org.au (9am-9pm, Monday-Friday) 

Men's Referral Service
Confidential support for men at risk of using family violence. 
1300 766 491 (7 days)
Website: mrs.org.au

Rainbow Door
Free information, support, and referrals for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex, asexual and queer people, friends and family.
Call: 1800 729 367 (10am-6pm, 7 days)
Text: 0480 017 246 (10am-6pm, 7 days)
Email: support@rainbowdoor.org.au
Website: rainbowdoor.org.au

Making contact safely

  • If it’s unsafe to call from home, try contacting these services via email, web chat or calling while you’re out making a trip to the supermarket or pharmacy.
  • If you need an interpreter or translator, call the National Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact the support service.
  • If you – or someone you know – is in immediate danger, call the police on triple zero (000).

Source: Domestic Violence Victoria, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria & Northern Integrated Family Violence Services

    Useful links:


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