Options Guide For Victim Survivors of Victoria Police Perpetrated Family Violence or Sexual Offences

Professional Standards Command Sexual Offences and Family Violence Unit

6 Dec 2021

The role of the Sexual Offences and Family Violence Unit (SOFVU) is to investigate or oversee regional investigations that involve Victoria Police employees who commit family violence or sexual assault against women, children, partners and family members of all genders and sexualities. SOFVU investigators maintain objectivity through transparent processes and by prioritising your privacy and safety throughout the investigation.

This guide has been created for you, the victim survivor who is impacted by family violence or sexual offences perpetrated by Victoria Police employees. It contains information to ensure you are aware of your options for reporting violence and seeking help. It has been developed in consultation with support services and victim survivors of police employee perpetrated family violence or sexual offences.

Victoria Police acknowledge not all people who experience family violence or sexual offences identify with the term ‘victim survivor’. This term is utilised throughout this guide as it is most accepted and respected by those with lived experience.

Statement of Intent Assistant Commissioner

Tess Walsh APM
Assistant Commissioner
Professional Standards Command

Victoria Police regard family violence and sexual offending as extremely serious and will respond to and investigate criminal and non-criminal behaviours involving Victoria Police employees. The primary responsibility of police action is the safety and welfare of the affected family member and children. Victoria Police will respond to family violence and sexual assault involving employees consistent with that provided to the community.

We recognise we have not always got it right, but the organisation is determined to improve. Therefore, we have committed to extensive and significant work to reaffirm organisational expectations when responding to and managing family violence incidents.

Victoria Police has developed a standalone policy for family violence involving Victoria Police employees. This policy aims to improve practice, oversight, and compliance in terms of the organisational response to incidents. This includes improved oversight and management of conflicts of interest to encourage reporting and to ensure privacy, safety, support and accountability. Professional Standards Command has invested in the Sexual Offences and Family Violence Unit, establishing new investigative teams to investigate serious family violence matters. This unit adopts a victim-centric approach and seeks to minimise re-traumatisation associated with the reporting and investigation by focusing on the needs and concerns of the victim survivor to ensure compassionate and sensitive delivery of services.

The development of this guide is part of Victoria Police’s commitment to ensure all victim survivors of family violence or sexual assault perpetrated by Victoria Police employees have the information, support and service to keep them safe.