We provide sensitive, supportive and professional family violence services, including counselling, dispute resolution, group programs and referral options.
Family violence affects people from all walks of life. While family violence can happen in many different family relationships, it is overwhelmingly women and children who experience violence, and men who use it.
People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer (LGBTIQ) can also experience violence and abuse, including include sexual assault, family violence, controlling behaviour and particular types of violence based on sexuality, gender or identity.
We also know that conflict in some families includes verbal and physical abuse from adolescent or adult children. It can be very difficult for parents to recognise when their adolescent is behaving violently. If parents or other family members feel scared, intimidated, manipulated or are physically hurt, this is abusive and violent behaviour.
Other groups of people can also experience violence, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the elderly and people with disabilities.
At Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), we work to support all people who use or are affected by all types of family violence.
Family violence is a pattern of behaviour where one person tries to dominate and control the other. Family violence can include a range of behaviours, including physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, social, financial and/or spiritual abuse, or stalking.
At RAV, we understand that it can be difficult to seek assistance. People may feel shame in disclosing that a loved one is causing abuse and hurt. They may fear being blamed for the abuse, not believed or judged by social attitudes to gender roles and sexual orientation.
It is important, however, to seek support, as family violence has significant psychological, emotional and physical impact on those who experience abuse directly and on those who witness the violence. Using our Family Safety Model, we provide services to support users of and those affected by family violence.
In providing these services, we recognise the gendered-nature of violence in relationships, but also the impact of other experiences including stress, mental ill health, emotional and psychological distress and social disadvantage such as income and housing circumstances.
If you are in immediate danger, call Victoria Police on 000. For women's crisis support, call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. For men’s telephone and online support, call the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.