Family violence support for La Trobe students

Family violence is a serious issue at all times, but we know that times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, leads to higher rates in the community. If you, or someone you know, are experiencing family violence, there is support available. Explore your options below, as well as the additional support services available to you as a La Trobe student.

What is family violence?

Family violence is characterised by a misuse of power and coercive control. It’s a pattern of abusive behaviour used within family or family-like relationships, including ex-partners, to control or dominate. The term “family violence” encompasses other commonly used terms
such as domestic violence, intimate partner violence and spousal

It is a serious crime and there is never an excuse for it. Family violence is a broad term that includes:

  • Physical abuse (hitting, kicking, punching)
  • Emotional abuse (constant put downs, name calling, humiliation or insults)
  • Psychological abuse (gaslighting, intimidation, threats)
  • Sexual harm (harassment, assault, sexual coercion)
  • Financial abuse (controlling finances, not allowing the other person to work)
  • Verbal abuse (insults, yelling, demeaning the other person).
  • Damage or threats of harm to property, people or an animal
  • Isolation or controlling contact with other people
  • Not allowing you to practice religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Stalking (repeated unwanted contact)
  • Monitoring your location (physically or digitally)
  • Exploiting legal action

If you or someone you know is experiencing Family Violence, alternatively if you know that someone is committing Family Violence, you can contact the University’s Safer Community service. Safer Community can provide you with expert advice, support, information and referrals. You can also contact us anonymously through our online reporting form.

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

Key facts about family violence

  • 1 in 4 women (almost 2.2 million) in Australia have experienced at least one incident of violence by a male partner
  • 1 in 12 men in Australia have experienced violence by a female intimate partner
  • 1 in 10 women in Australia have experienced sexual violence by a male partner
  • 95% of violence is at the hands of a male perpetrator
  • 488 women were killed by a current or former partner between 2002 and 2012 – nearly one woman a week

Where you can find support

Immediate assistance

If you receive a threat of harm, are concerned for your immediate safety, or require immediate assistance (for example if you have been sexually assaulted or are injured), call for help as soon as you can.

On campus: 24/7 assistance from Security on 9479 2222 at all campuses, except Bendigo where you should call 5444 7999.

Off campus: 000 for emergency services, Police, Fire and Ambulance Consider seeking crisis accommodation.

1800 RESPECT: 24/7 telephone counselling, information and support on 1800 737 732, and 24/7 online counselling

Safe steps: 1800 015 188 24 hours, family violence response centre for women and children.

Daisy app: search for family violence support services in your area. Available in App stores for iOS and Android.

Mensline Australia: support and information service for Australian men, 24/7 telephone counselling on 1300 78 99 78, or text, or video counselling.

Men’s referral service: counselling, information and referrals for men, to work toward ending family abuse P: 1300 766 491

Please find the contact details for more emergency support options on our website.

Safer Community

The University’s Safer Community service can provide advice, support and referrals if you or someone you know is experiencing family violence.

Safer Community may be able to offer you a Safe Connection – free smartphone and credit.

Call Safer Community on 03 9479 8988, email the Safer Community team or complete an online report via our website.

Please note: Safer Community is not an emergency or critical response service, and reports, emails and voicemails are not reviewed outside of operating hours.

Counselling for students

Access free counselling for psychological, social, and emotional support from anywhere.

Contact the La Trobe Out of Hours Crisis Line for mental health and wellbeing support by phone: 1300 146 307 or text: 0488 884 100 (between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. weekdays and 24 hours on weekends/public holidays).


Access LTSU’s free Advocacy service for independent assistance for academic, administrative or welfare issues.

Financial Advocacy

Access Financial Services for information, assistance and support with aid, loans and grants.

Special Consideration

Apply for Special Consideration for adjustments for exams and assessments.

Other sources for advice and support

You can consider speaking with a trusted friend, family member or neighbour for support.

Ask the person not to communicate with the perpetrator about you, such as giving information about your location.

Seek advice, support and referrals from services at the University, including Safer Community, Security, Counselling, Special Consideration and Advocacy.

Seek assistance from specialist family violence support services outside the University.

Consider applying for an intervention order to prevent the person contacting or approaching you.

Magistrates court: