Are you safe

at home?

We all have a right to feel safe and protected at home.

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) is a Victorian specialist family violence organisation. For over 30 years we have been working towards our vision of creating a world in which women and their children are thriving, respected and free from violence.

COVID-19 has impacted many aspects of our lives and routines.

But times of stress and hardship are never an excuse for violence or abuse. 

If you’re experiencing abuse, you do not have to face this alone. 

Help and support is available, even during restrictions and lockdown. This page has information to help you think about your safety and find support.

He never actually hit me, but his behaviour left me constantly on edge. He would push me, throw things at me, call me names, humiliate me in front of friends... He constantly demanded that I have sex to prove I loved him.

Jenna

Getting help

Specialist family violence services are still open and providing support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These statewide services support people across Victoria.

Sexual Assault Crisis Line

Support for people who have experienced both past or recent sexual assault.

Call 1800 806 292
24 hours, 7 days

www.sacl.com.au

safe steps

Crisis support and accommodation for women and children experiencing family violence in Victoria.
 
Call 1800 015 188
24 hours, 7 days

Online Chat
9am-9pm
Monday-Friday

Email
[email protected]


safesteps.org.au

About this site

During COVID-19, you can leave home to escape violence - even during restrictions and lockdown. People who are at risk of using violence can also leave home.

Family violence is when your partner, ex, carer, family member or someone you’re in a family-like relationship with uses threatening, controlling and violent behaviour that makes you scared for your own - or someone else’s - safety and wellbeing.

Family violence doesn’t always involve physical abuse. People use a wide range of abusive behaviours to maintain power and control in relationships. No matter what form it takes, family violence is never acceptable.

It is never okay for someone to:

Is it family violence?

Are you concerned someone you know may be experiencing family violence? Read our information for friends, family neighbours and colleagues.

As well as contacting a specialist family violence service, there are other things you can think about doing to help keep yourself safe.

Other ways to stay safe

Talk to someone you trust

It might help to confide in someone you trust about what you’re going through. This could be a friend, a family member or a professional such as your GP, counsellor or teacher. They may be able to offer emotional and practical support or play a role in your safety plan. Keep them informed about what’s happening at home. 

Don’t punish yourself. I never thought I’d be in an abusive relationship but I was. Then I thought I’d never get out because I was scared and stuck. Help is at hand.

Rebecca

Whether you are planning to leave or stay, there are lots of important things to consider when thinking about your safety. The best way to make a safety plan is with the help of a specialist family violence service.

DVRCV's Gathering Support booklet has tips and tools to help you create your own safety plan.

Get the booklet

Document the abuse

It can be useful to keep a record of someone’s behaviour that makes you feel threatened or afraid. This will help you explain your situation to other people, support services, the police or in court.

There are tools available to help you document the abuse, including the Arc app which you can use to record your story safely on your smartphone.

Men's Referral Service

Confidential support for men at risk of using family violence. 

Call 1300 766 491
Various hours
7 days a week

mrs.org.au

WithRespect

Support for LGBTIQ+ people and their families experiencing and using family violence. 

Call 1800 542 847
Various hours
7 days a week

withrespect.org.au

inTouch

Tailored support for women from migrant and refugee communities experiencing family violence, available in many languages.

Call 1800 755 988
9am-5pm
Monday-Friday

intouch.org.au

Djirra

Culturally safe family violence and legal support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Call 1800 105 303
9am-5pm
Monday-Friday

djirra.org.au

Making contact safely

If it’s unsafe to call from home, try contacting these services via email, web chat or calling while you’re out making an essential trip to the supermarket or pharmacy.

If you need an interpreter or translator, call the National Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact the support service.

If you – or someone you know – is in immediate danger, call the police on triple zero (000).

What to expect

Help you to explore your options and think about what you want to do next.

Apply for an intervention order

Family Violence Intervention Order or FVIO is a legal order issued by a court to protect you and your children from someone's abusive or violent behaviour.

You can apply for an FVIO online or call your nearest court to discuss other ways to apply. You can also ask a specialist family violence or legal service for help with your application.

When your application is received, someone from the Magistrates' Court will call you to explain the next steps, including a court hearing date. During COVID-19, it's unlikely you will have to attend court in person - most hearings are currently taking place online or via email. Visit the Magistrates' Court website for more info. Before your hearing, it's a good idea to speak with a legal service about your situation and get some information.

If you need protection straight away, call the police on triple zero (000). They can issue a safety notice to keep you safe until the Intervention Order is heard in court. 

Arc logo
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Access financial support

If you’re finding it hard to make ends meet, you might be able to access financial support through Centrelink. To learn more and find out whether you meet the crisis payment eligibility criteria, check out the Centrelink website or call 132 850 (8am-5pm, Monday-Friday).

Seniors Rights Victoria

Support for older people experiencing or at risk of family violence and elder abuse.

Call 1300 368 821
10am-5pm
Monday-Friday

seniorsrights.org.au
Other ways to stay safe

There are also services available for people who are not in Victoria.

Getting helpIs it family violence
Illustration of someone sitting inside a house.
Is someone you know unsafe?

Control where you go or who you speak to.

Physically attack or hurt you.

Threaten you or your loved ones, including a pet.

Limit your access to necessities, including face masks or healthcare.

Stalk or monitor you, including online.

Force you to do sexual things you don’t want to do.

Regularly put you down, humiliate you or attack your self-esteem.

Control your finances and financial decisions.

Threaten to take away custody of your children or your visa status.

Stop you from practising religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs and rituals.

Make you feel scared to say ‘no’.

National support services

Put you in touch with other services if you’d like to access additional forms of support – such as counselling, financial help or legal assistance.

Help you access crisis accommodation, if needed.

Work with you to create a plan to keep yourself and your children safe, if appropriate.

When you contact a support service, they will:

Respectfully listen to your concerns and assess your level of risk.

Make a safety plan

Illustration showing two hands reaching toward each other

If you're concerned about someone, read our information for friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.

 Illustration showing two hands reaching toward each other

Victims of Crime Helpline

Information and support for male victims of family violence and victims of violent crime.

Call 1800 819 817
24 hours, 7 days

Text 0427 767 891
8am-11pm, 7 days

victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au

Consider planning where you will go and how you will get there if you need to leave in a hurry

Keep important items such as spare keys, money, a charged back-up phone, identification and important documents in an easily accessible place, or with a trusted person

Think about how you could alert your children if they need to leave without you, and where they should go

Create signals to alert neighbours, family or friends to intervene or call triple zero (000)

Take steps to ensure no one is using your technology to monitor you

Keep a list of emergency and support contacts handy or stored in a safe, private phone

Teach your children that during a violent incident their responsibility is to stay safe

Find a safe place to stay

If you need to leave home to escape family violence and don't have somewhere safe to stay, you may be able to access temporary accommodation through safe steps in Victoria, or another housing or crisis service in your state. 

safe steps

Tel 1800 015 188 (24 hours, 7 days)
Online chat (9am-9pm Monday-Friday)
Email 
[email protected]

Is someone you know unsafe?

© 2020 Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

 Illustration of two faces looking away from each other
Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria logo

Are you unsafe right now?
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call triple zero (000).
Find more information about 
family violence support services below.

QUICK EXIT

Seek legal advice

Legal services can help you understand what the law says about violence, your relationship, separation, custody of your children, money and property. They can help you take out an intervention order to protect you from the person using violence, or make safe arrangements for your children. A specialist family violence service can help connect you with an appropriate legal service or you can contact a community legal centre directly.

On this page

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency

Statewide support for Aboriginal children and families.

Call (03) 9287 8800
During business hours

www.vacca.org

Yarning SafeNStrong

Free confidential helpline for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who need to have a yarn with someone about their wellbeing.

Call 1800 959 563
24 hours, 7 days

vahs.org.au

Dardi Munwurro's Brother to Brother

Men's referral crisis line to help Aboriginal men struggling with relationships, family violence, drug and alcohol issues.

Call 1800 435 799
24 hours, 7 days

dardimunwurro.com.au

Rainbow Door

Free specialist helpline providing information, support, and referrals for all LGBTIQA+ Victorians, their friends and family.

Call 1800 729 367
10am-6pm, 7 days

Text 0480 017 246
10am-6pm, 7 days

rainbowdoor.org.au