La Trobe recognises that family violence is a serious issue in our community that it has worsened amidst COVID-19.
Family violence can occur between current or ex-intimate partners, parent-child or sibling relationships. Family violence is a broad term that includes; physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual abuse, sexual harm, financial and verbal abuse. Irrespective of the form of family violence, it is characterised by any behaviour that causes physical, sexual or emotional damage or causes someone to live in fear.
Family violence isn’t always obvious and can, at times, be difficult to detect. Traditionally, family violence has been considered to be physical abuse but family violence can also include non-physical forms of abuse. Signs of family violence could include:
- unfairly and regularly accuses you of flirting or being unfaithful
- controls how you spend money
- decides what you wear or eat
- humiliates you in front of other people
- monitors what you are doing, including reading your emails and text messages
- discourages or prevents you from seeing friends and family
- threatens to hurt you, the children or pets
- physically assaults you (hitting, biting, slapping, kicking, pushing)
- yells at you
- threatens to use a weapon against you
- constantly compares you with other people
- constantly criticises your intelligence, mental health and appearance
- prevents you from practicing your religion.
Family violence is a serious crime and there is never an excuse for it.
Our Speak Up staff are trained to provide members of La Trobe University with advice, information and referrals regarding family violence. Speak Up can assist with:
- advice and information on increasing personal safety
- empower you to make your own choices. Speak Up would never force, coerce or encourage you to leave the relationship but instead assists by providing information and when appropriate, referrals to external and internal support services.
- if you were wanting to leave the relationship we can provide information regarding applying for a personal safety order (intervention order) through police or direct application to a Magistrates’ Court as well as
- referrals regarding crisis payments to assist with immediate financial concerns,
- referrals for emergency accommodation advice, and
- referrals to free legal services.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence you can also get support and assistance via the following external support services:
- 1800 RESPECT national helpline: 1800 737 732
- Lifeline (24-hour crisis line): 131 114
- Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
If you are engaging in abusive and violent behaviour in your relationship you can contact Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491. The Men’s Referral Service is the peak body working with men to end family violence. Men’s Referral Service offers family violence telephone counselling, information and referral service and the central point of contact for men taking responsibility for their violent behaviour. They also provide support and referrals for women and men seeking information on behalf of their male partners, friends or family members, and workers in a range of agencies seeking assistance for their clients who are men.
Please note: Speak Up is not an emergency or critical response service, and reports, emails and voicemails are not reviewed outside of operating hours.