Message from the Chief Commissioner


Family Violence Reporting to Police

Release date: Mon 14 August 2017

Last updated: Mon 27 November 2017


 FVC%20Triple%20Zero  FVC%20Interpreter  FVC%20National%20Relay%20Service  FVCExit

Victoria Police will act to protect people from family violence

Family violence is against the law.

Victoria Police will act to protect people harmed by family violence.

Police will prohibit any more violent actions or behaviour from the person who has harmed their partner and/or family.

 How to report family violence

You can report family violence by:

  • calling Triple Zero (000) in an emergency
  • going to a police station.

Police can receive reports of family violence from:

  • someone experiencing violence,
  • concerned friends or family or
  • neighbours or services.

Police may also discover family violence when conducting other duties or responding to a Triple Zero (000) emergency call. An emergency includes:

  • when someone has been, or is about to be, injured 
  • property damage
  • or other criminal acts
  • that need a response now. 

If English is not your first language, call Triple Zero (000) tell them your language, they will connect an interpreter.

If you have a hearing impairment or have difficulty being understood verbally, the National Relay Service web site explains how they can assist with an emergency call.



What do police do at a family violence incident?

Police will assess risk and work out what protection is needed by:

  • asking if everyone is safe
  • speaking to each person on their own and they may speak to children
  • asking what has been happening now and in the past
  • checking if, due to the violence, anyone needs medical attention and
  • taking note of any damage
  • making referrals for each individual.

Police are required to ask if anyone, including children, identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can indicate if they prefer mainstream or Aboriginal services.

Police may also ask if anyone has a disability, or any medical or other needs, that they are happy to disclose, that are relevant to safety or the police response.

Please tell police your communication needs. If you have difficulty speaking or understanding English, police can seek an interpreter.

Police will make an assessment of risk, considering past family violence and any recorded criminal history.

They will identify who is being harmed most (the victim or affected family member) and who is the main person harming others (the primary aggressor or 'other party').

Safety is the highest priority

Depending on the circumstances, there are a range of actions police can take.

If a crime has been committed police will investigate and may pursue charges.

Investigation and prosecution can take time so immediate safety for people who have been harmed or who are at risk must be the priority.

Immediate civil (i.e. non-criminal) actions to manage risk and increase safety that police can take are to:

  • issue a Family Violence Safety Notice on the spot and/or
  • apply to the court for a Family Violence Intervention Order, or
  • change an existing Intervention Order to increase protection.

For more information about these orders see police and legal response.

To print this information go to the publications page.

In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).

For more information see


 FVC%20Triple%20Zero  FVC%20Interpreter  FVC%20National%20Relay%20Service  FVCExit


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