Family Violence and Gender Equity

Brimbank remains committed to ensuring that everyone in our community has the right to live a safe and meaningful life free from all forms of violence. COVID-19 should not be an excuse for violence.

Regardless of restrictions related to COVID-19, you can leave your home if you are at risk of harm from family violence. All family violence services are still operating and below are contact details for a range of support services.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000 (triple zero).

What is Family Violence?

Family violence is any threatening, coercive, dominating or abusive behaviour that occurs between people in a family, domestic or intimate relationship, or former intimate relationship, that causes the person experiencing the behaviour to feel fear. In Australia, it is against the law for any member of your family, including your partner, children or in-laws, to hurt or control you.

Family violence includes (but is not limited to):

  • Any type of physical violence
  • Being forced to do sexual acts, even if you are married or in a relationship
  • Making threats or any kind of verbal abuse
  • Denying  access to money
  • Controlling contact with people outside the family
  • Children witnessing this abuse.

It is never your fault.

Often, people affected by family violence feel alone and isolated, perhaps even guilty or feel like they deserve what is happening to them. Many suffer the effects of family violence alone, and instances go unreported. If you are worried about someone, or need to seek help yourself, contact one of the support services below. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

How to help if you’re family, a friend or neighbour

  • Be sure to check in on them regularly to let them know there is help. Although it may not be possible to physically visit them due to current social distancing rules, you could contact them through instant messaging apps or SMS.
  • You could agree on code word or signal that the person experiencing family violence can use if they need help or need to call the police.
  • You could keep copies of important documents or have an ‘escape’ bag ready for them.
  • If they are in immediate danger, call 000.

Organisation

Service

Contact

Website

Safe Steps

24/7 crisis support line

1800 015 188

If you cannot safely call the 24/7 phone line, email safesteps@safesteps.org.au

safesteps.org.au

1800 RESPECT

Confidential information, counselling and support service

1800 737 732

Translating and Interpreting Service: Call 131 450 and ask them to contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732

1800respect.org.au

With Respect

Service supporting LGBTIQ+ communities and their families

1800 542 847

withrespect.org.au

Women’s Health West

Support, information and referral

(03) 9689 9588

whwest.org.au

Men’s Referral Service

Support service for men who want to change their violent behaviour

1300 766 491

No to Violence website
ntv.org.au

Kids Helpline

Free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25

1800 55 1800

kidshelpline.com.au

Child First

Links vulnerable children, young people and their families into the relevant services they need

1300 138 180

DHHS ChildFirst & Family Services

Sunshine Police Station

24/7 police station

(03) 9313 3333

SUNSHINE.UNI@police.vic.gov.au

police.vic.gov.au

Keilor Downs Police Station

24/7 police station

(03) 9365 3333

KEILORDOWNS.UNI@police.vic.gov.au

police.vic.gov.au

 

The Victorian Government has recently launched the Respect Each Other: ‘Call It Out' campaign. This campaign is designed to bring all Victorians into the conversation around family violence by depicting the irreversible damage that can occur when a home becomes unsafe. Physical distancing and isolation compounded by the multitude of stressors related to coronavirus (COVID-19) can lead to an increase in family violence.

Further information can be found on the Respect Victoria website.

Our Plan

Read our Position Statement for the Prevention of all forms of Violence 2018.

Our Fairness Equality and Respect Strategy (2019-2023) focuses on our role in promoting gender equality and preventing family violence and violence against women.

We're also part of the Preventing Violence Together 2030 Western region strategy to prevent violence against women. Preventing Violence Together is a regional partnership made up of 19 organisations who work together to prevent violence against women across Melbourne’s west. 

The strategy is a coordinated, action-based approach to preventing violence against women across Melbourne’s west.  It's accompanied by the Western Region Strategy to Prevent Violence Against Women Background paper.

Towards Gender Equality Community Report Card

Council is working with its partners and the broader community to advance gender equity and promote the optimal health, safety and wellbeing of Brimbank residents.

Here’s a summary of our achievements over the past year.