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Applicant/affected family member support

If you’re experiencing family violence, there are services and agencies available to help you. If you’re in danger, call the police on 000.

Safety and security

Every person will go through a security screening process when entering a court building. This is done to seize prohibited items that might cause injury to another person.

Court security officers are also present to help maintain safety and security in and around court buildings. You will be able to recognise them by their uniform and identity cards. 

Go to the safety and security page for more information. 

It is important to feel safe at court. Let a  know if you’re worried about your safety.

Family violence practitioners

Family violence applicant practitioners can provide information about the court and intervention order process. They can also refer you to a range of support programs and support agencies.

Approach the registry counter at the Magistrates’ Court you are attending to see if a practitioner is available.

Go to the Aboriginal and Tories Strait Islander page for information about Koori support services. 

Duty lawyers 

Duty lawyers are available at most Magistrates’ Courts. 

They can: 

  • provide legal advice about the intervention order application process
  • explain the court processes
  • assist you at court. 

Duty lawyers can only help you on the day of your hearing. If you cannot afford legal representation you may be able to receive help form Victoria Legal Aid.

Go to the legal help page for more information.

Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal

You can apply for assistance from the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT), if you have incurred expenses due to a criminal act from family violence.  

Housing assistance

If you are homeless, at risk of homelessness or escaping family violence, you can contact your nearest crisis support centre for help. Go to the Health and Human Services website for more information.

Interpreters

The Magistrates’ Court may be able to arrange an interpreter if you are an applicant or affected family member in a matter. 

Go to the interpreters page for more information.

Court Network

Court Network are volunteer workers located at most court locations. They can be identified by their pink lanyards and can:

  • provide information about the intervention order process
  • answer questions about how to fill in an intervention order application
  • provide support during court proceedings
  • assist with court support referrals.

Court Network can be contacted before your court date or after by calling 1800 571 239 or via the referral page on their website: Court Network Online Referral.

Court Network are unable to provide legal advice.

Support services

Legal services

Victoria Legal Aid
Services include: free legal information on matters such as family violence intervention orders, criminal offences, victims of crime
1300 792 387
Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm

Federation of Community Legal Centres
Services include: providing legal information, initial advice and in some cases, ongoing assistance
Find a CLC near you

Law Institute of Victoria
Services include: free phone and online service providing free referrals to lawyers across Victoria
Phone service: (03) 9607 9550; Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Support for women

safe steps Family Violence Response Centre
Services include: safety planning, 24/7 family violence response phone line, emergency accommodation, pet accommodation
1800 015 188
Monday-Sunday, 24hrs

Berry Street Victoria
Services include: therapeutic program; foster, kinship and residential care services; educational and vocational programs
(03) 9429 9266

WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc.)
Services include: free generalist information, support and referral service via phone, online chat, email and visit
1300 134 130
Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Women’s Health West
Services for women in Melbourne’s western region include: crisis and short-term support to women and their children
(03) 9689 9588
Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Support for men

Men’s Referral Service
Telephone counselling, information and referral service for people including: men who are using controlling behaviour towards a partner or family member; women seeking information about men’s use of family violence
1300 766 491
Monday-Friday, 8am-9pm

MensLine Australia
Services for men with family and relationship concerns include: online and telephone counselling
1300 78 99 78

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

DJIRRA (Formerly known as ‘Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Service’)
Services include: telephone and face-to-face legal and non-legal support
(03) 9244 3333; Freecall 1800 105 303
Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Support for CALD people

InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
Services include providing advice and assistance with: intervention orders, disputes in relation to the arrangements for the children, child protection, immigration matters
1800 755 988

Support for people with disability

Villamanta Legal Service 
Services on disability-related legal and justice issues include: free legal advice via telephone support
1800 041 111
Monday-Friday, 1pm-3pm

Support for LGBTIQ+ peoples

Drummond Street Services
Services include: counselling and a range of services and support for LGBTIQ+ people and their families experiencing family violence
Women’s Behaviour Change Program (Group)
LGBTIQ+ Behaviour Change Program (Individual)
Call: (03) 9663 6733

Thorne Harbour Health 
and Thorne Harbour Country (Bendigo based)
Services include: counselling for LGBTIQ+ people and their families experiencing family violence
Provides a range of services which include prevention education, treatment and care of PLHIV

Women’s Behaviour Change Program (Group)
LGBTIQ+ Behaviour Change Program (Individual)
Call: 1800 134 840

Rainbow Door
Services include: crisis helpline for service and helpline for LGBTIQ+ people and their families
Information, support, and referral available by phone, SMS and email. 10am to 5pm daily.
Call: 1800 729 367, SMS 0408 017 248 or email support@rainbowdoor.org.au

Qlife
Services include: 
crisis helpline for service and helpline for LGBTIQ+ people and their families
Free, anonymous peer support available by phone and webchat, 3pm to midnight, 365 days a year.
Call: 1800 184 527

LGBTIQ Legal Service
Services include: state-wide LGBTIQ+ legal service, run out of St Kilda Legal Aid
Free, confidential, legal information, advice, representation and referrals for LGBTIQ+ people in Victoria, including LGBTIQ+ family violence legal assistance.
Call: (03) 7037 3208

Women's Legal Service 
Services include: state-wide court referrals
Free, confidential, legal information, advice, representation and referrals for women in Victoria.
Call: (03) 8622 0600

Victoria Legal Aid
Services include: state-wide legal aid referrals

Free confidential legal information and advice about family violence. A duty lawyer may also be able to provide representation on the day of court.
Call: 1300 792 387 Mon – Fri 8am am to 6pm

Inner Melbourne Community Legal Service
Services include: free, confidential, legal information and advice about family violence matters, and other legal problems including family law, criminal law, tenancy and VOCAT.
Call: (03) 9328 1885 – Melbourne Magistrates' Court referrals

Fitzroy Legal Service
Services include: free, confidential, legal information, advice and representation for vulnerable people impacted by family violence or experiencing relationship breakup or parenting dispute.
Call: (03) 9419 3744 - state-wide LGBTIQ+ specific service can be accessed through Drummond Street Services (see above)

Victoria Police LGBTIQ Liaison Officers (LLOs)
LLOs are a valuable resource to aid in supporting you to interact with mainstream police should you feel uncertain about having direct contact with Victoria Police.
If you contact police, ask to speak to a LLO if possible.

Support for children and young people

headspace
Services for young people 12-25 years old include: online and telephone support and counselling (for young people, their families and friends)
1800 650 890
Monday-Sunday, 9am-1am

Kids Help Line 
Services for children and young people 5-25 years old include: online and telephone support and counselling
1800 55 1800
Monday-Sunday, 24hrs

Support for the elderly

Senior Rights Victoria
Services for older people and people seeking support for them include: telephone support
1300 368 821
Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm

Other support

Centrelink

Children’s Court of Victoria

Family Law Courts

Victoria Police

 

Last updated on 14 Jan 2022
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