Message from the Chief Commissioner


Family Violence

Release date: Fri 24 August 2007

Last updated: Fri 16 May 2014

How to report family violence and where to get advice and assistance

  • If you are in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000) now.
  • If you are not in immediate danger and wish to speak to a police officer about your situation contact your local police station via phone or in person.  Contact details can be found in the Your Local Police section of this site.

Victoria Police regard family violence as extremely serious, often resulting in criminal behaviour. The nature of violence in family relationships is seen as particularly insidious because it is an abuse of trust. There is often a continuing threat to a victim's life, or the lives of their children and extended family members.

When police are responding to calls for assistance in family violence matters they acknowledge that it is complex by nature and undertake to treat all victims with dignity and respect.

Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence

The Family Violence Coordination Unit (FVCU), Crime Department, has a principal role to provide support and advice to all police employees regarding family violence

The police response to and investigation of family violence is governed by the Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence (2014), applicable legislation and the Victoria Police Manual. Police action will be consistent with the Victoria Police Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.

The Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence was launched in 2005 and is regularly reviewed and updated by FVCU. It was most recently updated in March 2014.

The Code of Practice complements and supports Victoria's family violence reform which is focused on an integrated system response to family violence. It details the options available to police to hold the perpetrator accountable and keep the vulnerable person safe, and outlines how those options are implemented to assist in breaking the cycle of family violence. Legislative change is implemented through the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (FVPA).

The Code of Practice requires police to:

  • Increase the level of safety for all victims of family violence, particularly women and children, by thoroughly assessing risk, managing risk and making appropriate referrals
  • Hold perpetrators of family violence accountable for their behaviours by laying criminal charges where appropriate, including for contraventions of family violence intervention orders (FVIO) and family violence safety notices (FVSN); and by increasing successful prosecutions
  • Minimise trauma experienced by families during the process of police intervention

The approach outlined in the Code of Practice also aims to:

  • Encourage reporting of incidents of family violence
  • Provide early intervention and disruption to break the cycle of family violence
  • Achieve good practice through an appropriate, consistent, transparent and accountable response to, and investigation of, family violence
  • In partnership with other agencies, government and non-government, support an integrated response to family violence.


Top of Page
Victoria Police Centre 637 Flinders Street Melbourne 3005 | Ph 03 9247 6666 | Fax 03 9247 5727
Copyright © 2005 State of Victoria. All rights reserved.