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Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams

What are Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCITs)?

Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCITs) are made up of specialist detectives who are trained to investigate the complex crimes of sexual offences and child abuse.

The role of a SOCIT is to:

  • investigate crime
  • apprehend offenders
  • work in partnership with other services to ensure an empathetic, professional and comprehensive response to victims of sexual offences and child abuse
  • initiate prevention and reduction strategies

In partnership with other agencies, the SOCITs deal with a case from the time of disclosure, through the investigation process and then on to court.

This model means that victims will be able to establish an ongoing relationship and trust with one or two police members and won't have to retell their personal experiences many times.

There are SOCITs throughout Victoria. The teams vary in size depending on their location and work requirements. You can contact your local police station to find your nearest SOCIT, or see Contact your local SOCIT below.

What are Multidisciplinary Centres (MDCs)?

MDCs co-locate a range of partner agencies in the one building to provide a victim-centred, integrated and holistic response to victims of sexual crime and child physical abuse.

This approach is an innovative way of responding to sexual crime by providing better coordination of specialist services which improves responses and outcomes for victims.

MDC buildings are located away from police stations and are designed to provide a welcoming, confidential, and safe environment. They are discreetly located with minimal external signage to enhance the privacy and security of clients. Police members working from the MDC are not in uniform.

As at September 2017 there are six MDCs located in Bendigo, Dandenong, Geelong, Mildura, Morwell and Seaford.

A further MDC is to be established in Wyndham.

Co-located specialist professionals and services include:

  • Victoria Police Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCITs)
  • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Child Protection
  • Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) Counsellor/Advocate
  • Community Health Nurse
  • Forensic Medical Officers (at some locations)

Some MDCs also include a range of services that respond to family violence.

Contact your local Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT)

In an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000)

North-West Metropolitan

Brimbank: (03) 9313 3460

Mernda: (03) 9216 1310

Fawkner: (03) 9355 6100

Wyndham (MDC*): (03) 9216 0566

Melbourne: (03) 8690 4056

Southern Metropolitan

Dandenong (MDC*): (03) 8769 2200

Frankston (MDC*): (03) 8770 1000

Bayside: 03 8530 5203

Western Victoria

Ballarat: (03) 5336 6055

Bendigo (MDC*): (03) 5444 6752

Colac: (03) 5230 0043

Geelong (MDC*): (03) 5246 8101

Horsham: (03) 5382 9241

Ararat: (03) 5355 1500

Mildura (MDC*): (03) 5023 5980

Swan Hill: (03) 5036 1600

Warrnambool: (03) 5560 1333

Eastern Victoria

Bairnsdale: (03) 5150 2677

Benalla: (03) 5760 0230

Box Hill: (03) 8892 3292

Knox: (03) 9881 7939

Morwell (MDC*): (03) 5120 0351

Wonthaggi: (03) 5671 4100

Sale: (03) 5142 2200

Seymour: (03) 5735 0208

Shepparton: (03) 5820 5878

Wangaratta: (03) 5723 0848

Wodonga: (02) 6049 2671

*MDC - Multi-disciplinary Centre

SOCIT partner agencies and resources

Reporting Criminal Abuse of Children and Vulnerable People in Organisations to Police

These guidelines are for people in manager roles in organisations that look after children and/or vulnerable people and about when and how to report allegations or incidents of criminal abuse within those organisations to Victoria Police.

Department of Justice and Regulation – Victims of Crime

Free information and support to help victims recover from the effects of crime and guide them through the legal process. Phone 1800 819 817; text 0427 767 891.

Department of Health and Human Services

After-hours child protection statewide. Phone: 131 278

If you have urgent concerns about the safety and welfare of a child call the Department of Human Services Child Protection Crisis Line on 13 12 78.

Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA)

The Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASAs) are non-profit, government funded organisations that provide support and intervention to women, children and men who are victim/survivors of sexual assault.

A variety of services are provided by CASAs including emergency or crisis care, information, advocacy, counselling and support.

Sexual Assault Crisis Line

The Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria (SACL) is a statewide, after-hours, confidential telephone crisis counselling service for victims/survivors of both past and recent sexual assault. SACL operates between 5pm weeknights through to 9am the next day and throughout weekends and public holidays. Phone: 1800 806 292

Online resources

Australian Institute of Family Studies – research, resources and information

Office of Public Prosecutions Victoria – witness assistance services

Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) – The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine provides the justice system with evidence. Police may offer victims a consultation with a VIFM Forensic Medical Officer.

Support services information

Reviewed 18 November 2019