Family Violence Services

Our family violence service provides a range of support services to women and their children who have experienced family violence. We assist women and their 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. It 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 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 and children will be provided the opportunity to explore options in a respectful, non-judgemental atmosphere. It is important women and children are listened to and believed, and then supported to make their own decisions about their circumstances after fully reviewing their situation, resources and strengths.


All women and their children are able to access the service regardless of their financial status. Referrals can be made directly to the service or initiated by another organisation. Although our preference is for women to access the service themselves the service will contact women if deemed appropriate due to safety or other concerns.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse 

If you or the person you are supporting doesn’t speak English, women 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.


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