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Family violence and staying safe

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This page provides information on where to seek help if you are experiencing or at risk of family violence, or if you have concerns about your own behaviour.

Please note this page does not have a quick exit button.

Family violence

Family violence is any threatening, coercive, dominating or abusive behaviour that occurs between people in a family, domestic or intimate relationship, or former intimate relationship, that causes the person experiencing the behaviour to feel fear.

Unfortunately, there is an increased risk of family violence after an emergency. It is important for anyone experiencing family violence to know that family violence is never ok, no matter what the circumstances.

The most important message to remember is that help is available. You are not alone if you are experiencing family violence.

How to access help

Quick escape

If you, or someone you know are at risk or escaping family violence call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188 for help and support if safe to do so.

Safe steps is the state-wide access point for those who need to leave a violent situation and access emergency crisis accommodation.

You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000.

Local support

The Centre for Non Violence (CNV) is our regional specialist family violence service. CNV can provide local help and support. Their website includes information on what you might be experiencing, how CNV can help and how you can support someone experiencing violence.

The centre also provides the answers to some of the common questions they are fielding in relation to COVID-19 at the moment.
This includes topics such as:

• Can I leave my house if I am unsafe
• Developing a safety plan
• How to safety call for help if you are isolated at home with your abuser
• How to help your children
• How to get an intervention order, and
• How to access to culturally appropriate support.

For more information contact 1800 884 292 or visit

More information on other local services and after hours help is listed below.

Important information

During the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 restrictions may change suddenly, which may limit the reasons people can leave their home.

Please note the directions allows you to leave your home for emergency purposes, or to escape harm or the risk of harm.

If you are escaping harm or are at risk of harm from family violence or violence of another person at the premises, you can leave your home.

You will not be fined if you are leaving a dangerous situation.


Status of family violence services

Protecting Victorians remains a top priority for government during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

All family violence, sexual assault and Orange Door services are operating and continue to deliver critical functions.
Victoria Police will continue to address and prevent family violence as a priority.

The police response remains unchanged, identifying risks and taking the appropriate action to hold perpetrators to account and keep victims safe.

Perpetrator accountability continues during the coronavirus emergency. Social isolation is no excuse for violence. The Men’s Referral Service continues to provide help and support for people concerned about their own behaviour on 1300 766 491.

If you need support to help you stop using violence against your family please call 1800 737 732 (1800 RESPECT).

For more information on family violence crisis response and support during coronavirus visit

For information on how you can support someone experiencing violence visit safesteps or 1800RESPECT.

Local crisis and support services

Centre for Non-Violence
(03) 5430 3000 / 1800 884 292 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)
Provides a range of services and programs for women and children experiencing family violence and/or homelessness, and programs for men who use violence towards family members across the Loddon region.

Orange Door Mallee
1800 290 943 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)
Free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children. Also provides resources and links to local services

1800 260 338
Child and family support services

Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative
(03) 5442 4947
Aboriginal health and support services

Crisis and support services, including after-hours

safe steps
1800 015 188 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
For women and children who are victims of family violence

Child Protection Services
13 12 78 (5pm to 9am Monday to Friday, 24 hours on weekends)
For children and young people whose safety is at risk

Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria
1800 806 292 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
Crisis counselling service for people who have experienced both past and recent sexual assault.

Victims of Crime Helpline
1800 819 817 or text 0427 767 891 (8am to 11pm every day)
For adult male victims of family violence and victims of violent crime

Men’s Referral Service
1300 766 491 (8am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday)
For men using controlling behaviour, women seeking information, and friends family or colleagues of people who are using or experiencing family violence.

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service for young people aged between 5 and 25.

1800 LGBTIQ / 1800 542 847 (Business hours, and from 5pm to 11pm each Wednesday, 3pm to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday)
Specialist LGBTIQ support service for those experiencing difficulty in their relationships including family violence.

MensLine Australia
1300 78 99 78 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns.

1800 737 732 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Counselling and support service for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

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