Victims of family violence can seek protection via an intervention order. Police can also seek intervention orders without a victim’s consent. Orders can prohibit a variety of actions by a perpetrator. Injunctions or restraining orders also have a role to play. Refuges and Centrelink can all help protect victims.

Trigger warning

Please note this chapter (and pages it links to) contains information about family violence that may be triggering to family violence survivors.


Renata Alexander


Changes to state family violence laws

Last updated

1 July 2022

2006 VLRC review and the Sentencing Advisory Council

In 2006, the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) published a review of family violence laws.

Many of the VLRC’s recommendations appear in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) (‘FVP Act’) and in subsequent amendments.

Other recommendations have been taken up by Victoria Police and by various government departments.

The Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council has published reports about sentencing practices for the contravention of family violence intervention orders and safety notices, and about recidivism (reoffending) in contravention cases. These reports are available on the Sentencing Advisory Council’s website.

2016 Royal Commission report and beyond

In 2014, the Victorian Government established a Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV).

The RCFV began in February 2015 and released its report in March 2016. The report includes 227 recommendations that address prevention, risk assessment, education, resources, coordination and evaluation. There are a few recommendations about the FVP Act.

The Victorian Government has implemented most of the RCFV’s recommendations (the government’s progress is tracked on its website). The implemented recommendations include:

  • the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme
  • the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (see ‘Family Violence and Child Information Sharing Schemes’, below)
  • the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM Framework)
  • the Orange Doors (see ‘The Orange Door hubs’, below)
  • the rollout of the Respectful Relationships program in government and non-government schools
  • the strengthening of tenancy laws
  • the establishment of dedicated youth refuges
  • the expansion of programs for different groups of perpetrators
  • the creation of a Minister for Family Violence.

Other proposed reforms – including other procedural changes under the FVP Act, and rolling out a Family Violence Court Division (see ‘Specialist family violence courts’ in ‘Family violence matters and the courts‘) to 14 more major Magistrates’ Courts throughout Victoria – are still being implemented.

The Victorian Government has also created the Family Violence Reform Implementation Monitor. The monitor reports on the progress of the implementation of the RCFV’s recommendations, and on family violence reforms in general. The monitor started operating in 2017 and must publish progress reports as at 1 November of each year.

Family Violence and Child Information Sharing Schemes

The Royal Commission into Family Violence found that effective and appropriate sharing of information by organisations that work with survivors and perpetrators of family violence (e.g. court staff, the police, support agencies) is crucial to keeping survivors safe and holding perpetrators to account.

The Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme and the Child Information Sharing Scheme commenced in 2018. Under these schemes, a select group of prescribed information sharing entities (ISEs) are authorised to share information about victim survivors, alleged perpetrators, and third parties involved in family violence or child wellbeing or child safety (if relevant to assessing risk). These entities include the Children’s Court, Corrections Victoria, Child Protection (Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH)) and Victoria Police.

For more information about the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, including exactly what information can be shared, a list of ISEs, and the roll-out schedule for the scheme, see the family violence section of Victorian Government Department of Justice and Community Safety website.

For more information about the Child Information Sharing Scheme, including a list of the authorised organisations and professionals who may access and share information, see

The Orange Door hubs

The Royal Commission into Family Violence recommended the creation of 17 one-stop multi-disciplinary ‘support and safety hubs’ (called ‘The Orange Door’) for adults, children and young people experiencing family violence and for families that need extra support. It is free to access help and support at The Orange Door and no referral is needed.

There are now 15 Orange Door hubs operating in the 17 DFFH areas in metropolitan and regional Victoria; state-wide coverage is due to be completed by the end of 2022.

For more information about The Orange Door hubs, see

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