Family Violence – Safer Community

Family Violence

La Trobe University recognises that family violence is a serious issue in our community, and that it has worsened amidst COVID-19. 

Family violence is a broad term that includes physical, emotional, social, psychological, spiritual, sexual, 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 can occur between current or ex-intimate partners, parent-child, or sibling relationships.

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 practising your religion

If you have answered yes to any of these, then there are signs your relationship might involve abuse. If you do not feel safe, respected, and cared for, then something isn’t right. If you are being abused, it is not your fault. You have the right to feel safe and to live a life free from fear.

Family violence is a serious crime and there is never an excuse for it.

Safer Community staff are trained to provide students at La Trobe University with advice, information and referrals regarding family violence. Safer Community can assist with:

  • advice and information on increasing personal safety.
  • empower you to make your own choices. Safer Community will 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 (intervention) order through police or direct application to a Magistrates’ Court.
  • referrals regarding crisis payments to assist with immediate financial concerns.
  • referrals for emergency accommodation.
  • 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:

If you are worried about or think you may be engaging in abusive 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.

If you think you have experienced family violence, or you know someone who has, you should seek support. If you would like someone to listen to your concern and provide you with expert advice, information, options and referrals, you can get in contact with Safer Community.

Call Safer Community on 03 9479 8988

Email the Safer Community team

Complete an online report via our website

Visit us in person at Bundoora PE level 2 or Bendigo SSC

Not sure if Safer Community covers your issue? Get in touch for a consult or check out the Safer Community website for information. 

Please note: Safer Community is not an emergency or critical response service, and reports, emails and voicemails are not reviewed outside of operating hours. For afterhours assistance please contact the La Trobe Crisis Line on 1300 146 307 or text 0488 884 100 or Security on campus at 9479 2222. 

More information:

Visit our Domestic, Family and Intimate-Partner Violence webpage or view the Family Violence Factsheet.