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Family Violence Support

Family violence is serious. Help and support are available.

The affected family member or affected person is the person that an intervention order is protecting.

The applicant is the person applying or who applied for an intervention order.

The respondent is the person who the application is made against.

Family violence practitioners

Who are family violence practitioners?

Our family violence practitioners are specialist staff who provide free support and assistance to individuals attending the Melbourne Children’s Court for proceedings related to family violence.

What services do they provide?

If you are attending the court as a result of experiencing or using violence, the family violence practitioners can help you to: 

  • understand the court process, what will happen at your court hearing and the different types of orders that can be made
  • prepare a plan to help keep you safe at home and while you are in and around the court buildings
  • access available services in the community including education, employment, crisis accommodation, counselling and wellbeing services
  • access available services and programs in the community to help you to stop using family violence 

Family violence practitioners do not provide mental health assessments, financial support, legal advice or negotiate matters between parties.

I am a victim of family violence. How can the practitioner help me?

If you are a victim of family violence you can contact the practitioner for support at any stage during your court process (before, on the day or after the hearing).

You can speak with a family violence practitioner over the phone or in-person at the Melbourne Children’s Court to talk about your specific situation and needs so that they can:

  • complete a risk assessment to determine your immediate safety needs
  • work with you to develop an individual safety plan to maximise your safety at home 
  • help you understand the court process, what will happen at your court hearing and the different types of orders that can be made
  • make referrals to appropriate agencies for ongoing support, counselling and long-term safety planning

I am using family violence. How can the practitioner help me?

If you are using family violence, you can contact the practitioner for support at any stage during your court process (before, on the day or after the hearing).

You can speak with a family violence practitioner over the phone or in-person at the Melbourne Children’s Court to talk about your specific situation and needs so that they can:

  • help you understand the court process, what will happen at your court hearing and the different types of orders that can be made
  • work with you to develop a plan to help minimise the likelihood you will choose to use violence in the future
  • make referrals to available services and programs in the community to help you to stop using family violence

How to get help

You can ask your lawyer or a court officer to speak with a family violence practitioner when you attend Court.

You can also contact Melbourne Children’s Court by phone or email before your court hearing and ask to speak with a family violence practitioner.

Phone: (03) 8638 3300
Email: ivochildrenscourt@courts.vic.gov.au

Other resources for family violence help and support

Victoria Legal Aid

Services include: Free legal information on matters such as family violence intervention orders, criminal offences, victims of crime
Phone: 1300 792 387
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

Youthlaw

A free legal service specifically for young people under 25 years old
Phone: (03) 9113 9500
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The Orange Door

A 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

Safe Steps

Services include: Free advice on issues such as how to keep safe, where to get legal help, where to get counselling
Phone: 1800 015 188
Monday to Sunday, 24 hours

1800 respect 

A free, confidential counselling service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, sexual assault, domestic or family violence 

Berry Street

An organisation that helps children, young people and families impacted by abuse, violence and neglect

Relationships Australia – Men’s Behaviour Change Programs

A program for men wanting to end their use of violence in their relationships