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


General advice for family violence survivors

Last updated

1 July 2022

Call the police

If you need immediate assistance in a family violence situation, call the police on 000 anytime. They will attend and provide advice and assistance.

What the police can do

It is important to insist that the police take a formal statement of complaint. If it is an emergency, the police may issue a family violence safety notice that can include an exclusion condition, and they can detain a person to allow you time to apply for an intervention order.

All police stations have access to a family violence adviser, and there is a family violence liaison officer at all 24-hour police stations. There are also 21 family violence units across Victoria.

Police officers can charge a family violence perpetrator with criminal charges. If there is an existing safety notice or intervention order, the police can charge the perpetrator with breach of that notice or order.

Victoria Police also have dedicated Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Units (SOCA) to assist with responding to and investigating adult sexual assault and child sexual abuse. There are many SOCA throughout Victoria. These units may also be able to assist in family violence cases.

Non-legal remedies

People who have experienced family violence should consider taking protective measures, such as:

  • changing locks
  • changing telephone numbers
  • screening calls
  • moving house.

Tell carers, neighbours, schools, workplaces and local police that there may be trouble from your former partner. If appropriate, provide copies of intervention orders to schools and workplaces.

It is also important to contact various support services for counselling, assistance and referrals to appropriate resources.

Keep records

It is important that the person experiencing violence keeps a written and photographic record of all incidents (as this record can form the basis of an application or complaint). This record should include times, places, photographs of injuries, any witnesses, any medical attention received, and any contact with the Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (where children are involved), the police or other support services.

Back to
Relationships, families and young people

Buy the chapter ‘Family violence’