If emergency accommodation or support is needed, contact Safe Steps, a 24/7 family violence response centre (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter).
There are refuges and shelters that assist women and children who are escaping violence. They provide free, safe and secure short-term accommodation, advice and counselling, legal assistance, help in applying for Centrelink benefits, and assistance in seeking work and childcare. Women’s refuges are available to all women in need (e.g. regardless of their financial situation, or whether they are married or have children). Refuges and shelters can be contacted through Safe Steps.
Also, women can seek priority housing through the Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing or through their local council.
If you have experienced family violence and have no independent income, contact Centrelink and ask what benefits are available. For example, there is a crisis payment that is available for people who are experiencing severe financial hardship or extreme circumstances, such as family violence.