connectEDspace - support for young people

Young people can face all sorts of pressures – including problems at school, with friends or at home.
connectEDspace is a website by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), dedicated to young people to help provide all the information they need to deal with the stuff they go through each day.

Aboriginal Family and Relationship Support

RAV provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals to help strengthen family relationships.

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk with a professionally trained person to discuss couple issues, conflicts with friends, relationship breakdown, parenting, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, grief, sexual problems, childhood sexual abuse, stress and work related tensions and disputes.


Spotlight on family violence

3 December 2015

The issue of family violence in our community is gaining increasing attention, following the announcements of Rosie Batty as 2015 Australian of the Year and the Victorian Government’s Royal Commission into Family Violence.

This attention and the conversations that have followed are essential, with startling statistics demonstrating the prevalence of family violence in our community. One in three women aged 15 years or older has experienced physical violence (VicHealth, 2014), while one woman is killed in Australia almost every week by a partner or ex-partner, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology (2008-2010). One in four women and one in seven men have reported experiencing emotional abuse by a current or former partner (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013).

Historically, definitions of family or domestic violence may have been more likely to focus on physical aspects of violence. The Commonwealth Family Law Act 1975 however, defines family violence more broadly as violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family (the family member) or causes the family member to be fearful.

Examples of behaviour that may constitute family violence include (but are not limited to) an assault, a sexual assault, preventing a family member from making or keeping connections, repeated derogatory statements, unreasonably withholding financial support or depriving a family member of her or his liberty.

We know that it is often very difficult for those experiencing family violence to disclose the issue. They may hold realistic fears about their own or their family’s safety if they seek help or disclose the abuse, particularly when threats are involved. Victims of family violence may feel shame or embarrassment, have low self-esteem or a strong emotional attachment to the perpetrator.

Responding to presentations of family violence can be challenging if you don’t come across the issue often or you don’t work for a family violence service. You might find yourself asking a range of questions about family violence.

What are the indicators? What do you say? How do you create a safe place so the person will feel okay about telling you what’s really going on? What happens next if the person says they are a victim of family violence?

Talking with women, men and children about suspected family violence can be difficult, however the way in which individuals and organisations respond to family violence is vital. These important conversations can help people experiencing family violence move to a safer place.

Some ways to respond include to:

  • believe the person
  • place the responsibility of the abuse with the abuser - it’s not the victim’s fault
  • use non-judgmental responses
  • refer to a family violence service.