Message from the Chief Commissioner


Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence

Release date: Mon 7 August 2017

Last updated: Mon 27 November 2017

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Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence

The Victoria Police response to investigate and respond to family violence is directed by:

  • The Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence (2014) (Code of Practice);
  • Victoria Police Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct; and 
  • relevant legislation including the Family Violence Protection Act (Vic) 2008. 

The Code of Practice outlines how Victoria Police implements legislative powers to stop family violence by:

  • Protecting the victims of violence, including children
  • Encourage reporting of incidents of family violence; 
  • Holding the perpetrators of family violence accountable; and
  • In partnership with other agencies, government and non-government, support an integrated response to family violence.

The Code of Practice requires police to respond to all reports of family violence by:

  • Thoroughly assessing and managing risk; Applying for civil protection such as; 
  • Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) or Family Violence Safety Notices (FVSN);
  • Investigating and laying criminal charges where appropriate, including for contraventions of Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO) and Family Violence Safety Notices (FVSN);
  • Increasing successful prosecutions; 
  • Minimising the trauma experienced by victims and the support people during the process of police; intervention; and
  • Making appropriate referrals.

The Code of Practice aims to:

  • Encourage reporting of incidents of family violence to Victoria Police;
  • Intervene early and stop family violence;
  • Achieve good practice through an appropriate, consistent, transparent and accountable response to, and investigation of, family violence; and
  • Support an integrated response to family violence, in partnership with other government and non-government agencies.

In response to the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence, more information has been included in the Code of Practice about:

  • The service of Family Violence Intervention Orders;
  • Power to arrest for breach of injunctions for personal protection (Family Law Act 1975);
  • Responding to reports of family violence from people who work in the sex industry;
  • The use of interpreters; and
  • The use of personal property conditions in Family Violence Intervention Orders.

The additional information is in Appendix 9 (pages 69-78) of the Code of Practice.

If you have concerns, complaints or positive feedback about Victoria Police's response to family violence, you can ask to speak with:

  • Officer in Charge of your police station
  • Family Violence Liaison Officer in your area or
  • Send a 'compliment or complaint' see the web link on this site.

There are also police liaison officers who specialise to support the diversity of the Victorian Community who may be able to assist you including:



In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).

For more information see

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