Everyone has the right to be free of violence or the fear of violence. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected in their family and relationships.
Family violence occurs in all communities, cultures and socio-economic groups and is not acceptable in any part of any culture. Family violence is against the law.
Reporting family violence
If you are:
- someone experiencing violence,
- concerned friends or family or
- neighbours or services
You can report family violence by:
- calling Triple Zero (000) in an emergency
- going to a police station
If English is not your first language, call Triple Zero (000) and 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.
Police assistance at a family violence incident
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’)
- who is the main person harming others (the primary aggressor or 'other party').
Police risk assessment includes:
- 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
- medical needs
- happy to disclose and 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.
What the law says
The law defines family violence as behaviour by a family member that creates fear and control over:
- their partner
- other family members.
Code of Practice
The Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence directs how Victoria Police responds to family violence.
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 (ie. 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
- apply to change an existing Intervention Order to increase protection
A contravention of a Family Violence Safety Notice or Family Violence Intervention Order should be reported to police as soon as possible and can result in criminal charges.
Quick exit button
The Quick exit button at the top of this page will exit you from the Victoria Police website quickly. It does not remove your browser history.
If you think your computer use is being monitored – you may want to remove the browser history. The e-safety Commissioner's e-safety website can assist with how to do this, and provide more information on technology and safety.
The Magistrates Court has a series of films about family violence.
For people who are deaf or communicate using Auslan, 1800 Respect (a national telephone support line for sexual assault and family violence) has a film with information on family violence how to get support.
- Magistrates Court
- Victims of Crime Help Line (7 days, 8am-11pm) 1800 819 817
- Victoria Legal Aid (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) free telephone advice in a range of languages 1300 792 387
- Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre (24 hours) for women & children 1800 015 188 or 9322 3555
- Men's Referral Service (Mon-Fri, 8am-9pm) support and referral for men 1300 766 491
- Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24 hours) 1800 806 292
- Child Protection Service DHHS (24 hours) 131 278
- Housing (24 hrs) statewide referral for emergency housing 1800 825 955
Reviewed 09 December 2019