Quick Exit

Family Violence Services

Our family violence service provides a range of support services to women, LGBTIQ+ people and children who have experienced family violence. We assist women, LGBTIQ+ people and children to remain safely within their community wherever possible and maintain a life free of violence, while also addressing their emotional and practical needs and issues arising from the violence.

Violence is defined as any act which makes another person feel fearful, unsafe and not in control of their own destiny. Family violence can include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal and financial abuse. It can occur in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships. Family violence is predominantly, but not exclusively, perpetrated by men against women and children. We know from current and emerging research that rates of intimate partner violence within lesbian, gay and queer relationships are as high as the rates experienced by cisgender women in intimate heterosexual relationships. Rates of intimate partner violence may be higher for bisexual, trans and gender diverse people. 

Family violence occurs in all ethnic & cultural groups, in all kinds of relationships & families, including heterosexual & same-sex relationships & against older people and people with a disability.

Guiding principles

Women, LGBTIQ+ people and children who are experiencing or have experienced family violence are to be offered services focused on meeting their needs and delivered in a manner to facilitate self determination. 

Women, LGBTIQ+ people and children will be provided the opportunity to explore options in a respectful, non-judgemental atmosphere. It is important people are listened to and believed, and then supported to make their own decisions about their circumstances after fully reviewing their situation, resources and strengths.


This is a free service, available to:
  • Women and LGBTIQ+ people with or without children who are seeking assistance, information or support in relation to family and domestic violence
  • Relatives or friends who are seeking information and support
  • Workers from agencies who are seeking further information about family and domestic violence. 

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse 

If you or the person you are supporting doesn’t speak English, women and people from LGBTIQ+ communities can call Berry Street using Translating Interpreting Service 131 450. Please tell us:

  • your number
  • your language
  • when it is safe to call.

We will call you back with a telephone interpreter. 

Please tell us if there are any interpreters you don’t feel comfortable to work with as they know you, your family or your partners family, so we can request someone anonymous. 

If you don’t speak English & have an emergency call 000 – please tell them your language and they will get a telephone interpreter ASAP. If you have court it is vital that an interpreter is booked.


If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment you can use the National Relay Service to phone Berry Street on (03) 9450 4700. This is a free service. For more information refer to the National Relay Service.

Please use your area code (03) when giving your number so the service can reach you. TTY users can call Relay Service on 133 677 and then ask for (03) 9450 4700.

If you can listen but people who don’t know you find you hard to understand please use the Relay service speak and listen service 1800 555 727.