Fact Sheet 6 - Getting help in Victoria
Fact Sheet 6 - Getting help in Victoria
There is a range of services to help you, depending on your circumstances.
Simply telephone a service using the contact numbers listed here. The person on the other end of the line will help you work out if the service is the right one for you. If you need a different service, they will give you the contact details or you can ask them to call on your behalf.
If you need to leave a message, explain when it is safe for someone to call you back. Domestic and family violence services are very careful about the safety of women and won’t call or leave messages at your home unless you have said it’s safe to do so.
Domestic and family violence services in Victoria work very closely together to make women and children as safe as possible. You may be asked to give permission to share your information with any other service they refer you to. This saves you from having to repeat the same information to different services and ensures that important details are not missed.
If you are in danger and need help immediately
If you are in danger and need help immediately, dial 000 and ask for the police. While you are answering the operator’s questions, they will send the police to help you.
If it is not safe for you to talk on the phone and you are calling from a landline, dial 000 and hide the phone without hanging up. The operator will send the police to your address. If you are using a mobile phone and can’t give your address, the operator will send the police to the address where the phone is registered.
If you are in a crisis but you don’t need the police
If you are physically safe and don’t need the police, but want to find safe accommodation in an emergency, get support or talk about your options, call Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre.
Safe Steps can help you find accommodation in a hurry, including a women’s refuge, and can give you information about your options. Safe Steps is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
1800 RESPECT is the national 24/7 family violence and sexual assault counselling line. Its experienced counsellors can help you start safety planning, explore your options and find support in your area. 1800 737 732 or 1800respect.org.au
If you need to go to a women’s refuge
Women’s refuge services operate throughout Victoria. Most are high-security services in confidential locations for women and children who are at immediate risk of violence and need to find accommodation away from their own neighbourhoods for safety reasons. If you think you need a women’s refuge, call Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre
For support and information
Your local Women’s Domestic Violence Outreach Service can offer you support, information about your options and entitlements, and help to reach other services. These services operate in each region in Victoria, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. They can work with you over several weeks to help you consider your options and plan for the future. Find your local outreach service from our online Service Directory.
If you wish to use an Aboriginal support or refuge service
In Victoria, Elizabeth Morgan House provides refuge accommodation and support to Aboriginal women and their children who are experiencing family violence, as well as support to those who choose to stay in their own homes.
If you have a non-English speaking background
inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence provides support services in Victoria for women and children of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are experiencing family violence.
You may also choose to use a Domestic Violence Outreach Service.
All of these services use interpreters when needed.
If you or your child has a disability
Family violence services can support you with your disability requirements – such as attendant care, equipment hire, sign/Auslan interpreting or transport costs. Use the contact details on our Service Directory, being sure to tell them about your disability and what you need.
For counselling or a support group
You can get a referral to a counsellor who specialises in domestic and family violence issues, or to a support group, by contacting your local Domestic Violence Outreach Service, Elizabeth Morgan House or inTouch.
If you have been sexually assaulted
You can get help after a sexual assault by contacting the 24-hour Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) crisis care service or one of its 15 centres around Victoria. They provide medium-term counselling and support, including support groups, for men and women.
For men wanting to change their behaviour
If you are seeking information on how to support a man to change his behavior, contact the Men’s Referral Service. This service provides telephone counselling, information and referral advice to men who use violent and abusive behaviour towards a family member. The service can give contact details for your local Men’s Behaviour Change Program.