Domestic, Family and Intimate-Partner Violence

We understand the intricacies of domestic, family and intimate-partner violence, and the many different ways is can present itself. We believe they are all unacceptable and work towards creating a safe environment for all while addressing the drivers that perpetuate domestic, family, and intimate partner violence.

  • Domestic, Family, and Intimate-Partner Violence
  • Violence
  • Physical Violence
  • Psychological Violence

Violence

La Trobe University recognises the following behaviours as constituting violence:

  1. physical violence
  2. sexual violence
  3. emotional, psychological and financial violence and intimidation
  4. intimate partner, domestic and family violence
  5. verbal abuse.

These behaviours may occur in person or via remote, digital or cyber means.

Physical Violence

The act of using physical force or violence by a person against another person may include:

  1. applied force or threats to apply force
  2. fighting, biting, spitting, scratching and kicking
  3. pushing, hitting, shoving, choking, tripping and grabbing
  4. use or threatened use of a weapon (for example knives, guns and clubs).

Psychological Violence

Psychological violence can include a range of controlling behaviours and may occur face-to-face or via digital means.

Examples of psychological violence include:

  1. being threatened with injury, abandonment or death
  2. control of finances
  3. isolation from family and friends and/or confinement
  4. intentionally frightening or continual humiliation
  5. threats against children, family or pets
  6. gaslighting that causes a person to doubt themselves, their memory or their sanity
  7. any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity and self-worth (such as put-downs, ridicule and incessant monitoring of an individual’s movements).

Family, Domestic and Intimate-Partner Violence

Family violence is a broader term than domestic violence as it refers to violence not only between intimate partners, but also violence between family members. Family violence happens in all kinds of relationships, including (but not limited to):

  1. intimate: partners, lovers, husband and wife/spouses, ex-partners
  2. older people and their children (elder abuse)
  3. other family members, including children and step-parents
  4. parents and their children.

Family violence or abuse serves to establish and maintain power and control over another person (including children) and includes behaviours that cause physical, sexual or psychological harm to those within the family or relationship. Family violence encapsulates the broader issue of violence within extended families, kinship networks and community relationships, as well as intergenerational issues.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  1. violent, intimidating or threatening behaviour
  2. any form of behaviour that coerces or controls a family member or causes them to be fearful
  3. physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, psychological and financial abuse
  4. any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity and self-worth.

For more information, have a look at our Family Violence Fact Sheet [PDF 294KB]

Help for myself

If you have experienced violence, it is not your fault and you’re not alone. We’d like to help, if that works for you.

Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, please call 000 (or 0 000 from University phones).

Find a place where you feel safe. If an incident has just occurred and a safe place cannot be located, consider contacting Campus Security (03 9479 2222) for assistance.

Consider contacting SafeSteps. If you have experienced family violence, consider accessing toll free assistance by calling 1800 015 188. They can assist with safety planning, risk assessment, crisis accommodation and ongoing support.

Check out the resources available, like the Gathering Support Booklet available for download on the Domestic Violence Resource Center website

If you're concerned about your online and tech safety, please visit eSafety Women for safeguarding suggestions.

Consider contacting Safer Community We will listen, believe, and support you in making decisions which are right for you. Contacting us does not mean you have to file a formal complaint or engage in a process – it can be strictly around support. You can remain anonymous, unless we believe there is a genuine threat to a person’s health and safety. Call us on 03 9479 8988, or click Report Online below.

If you’re not ready to contact a support service, confiding in someone you trust – a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor – may help.

Looking for some tips or further information? Read our Personal Safety Fact Sheet [PDF 249KB] for more.

Help for someone else

If you’re worried about someone else, there are things you can do to help.

Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, please call 000 (or 0 000 from University phones).

Find a place where they feel safe. If an incident has just occurred and a safe place cannot be located, suggest contacting Campus Security (03 9479 2222) for assistance.

Listen. Believe. Support. If someone discloses to you that they have experienced violence or unacceptable behaviour, it’s important to:

  • Reassure them that what has happened is not their fault;
  • Encourage them to talk, without putting words in their mouth. Let them express how they are feeling. (Be prepared – there may be long bouts of silence as they process their thoughts.);
  • Focus any questions on how they are feeling, and what they want to do next. It’s not up to you to gather information or pass judgment about the specifics of the incident(s);
  • Ask how you can help. The person may be overwhelmed and not know what to say - you could consider suggesting they contact someone they trust, or SafeSteps if the situation involves family violence.
  • Respect the person’s decisions. Family violence is incredibly complex, and it often takes multiple attempts for a person to leave due to a range of considerations and barriers. Only they can decide what is right for them. There are a lot of reasons why someone may feel unable to leave a family violence situation, and this should be respected.

If they're concerned about online or tech safety, please visit eSafety Women for safeguarding suggestions.

Consider contacting Safer Community. We can help you provide reasonable support through recommending options and resources. You will not need to disclose the name of the person impacted to us unless we believe there is a genuine threat to their health and safety. Call us on 03 9479 8988, or click Report Online below.

Check out the resources available, like the Gathering Support Booklet available for download on the Domestic Violence Resource Center website

If you’re not ready to contact a support service, confiding in someone you trust – a friend, family member, co-worker or counsellor – may help.

Be an active bystanderNot sure how? Our Bystander Action Fact Sheet [PDF 288KB] has tips, supports and referrals to help

If you're a staff member who is concerned about a student, review our resources for responding to and referring concerns on the Safer Community Intranet [Staff login required]

Safe Connections

La Trobe University Safer Community has a local partnership with Safe Connections, a program by WESNET and Telstra, where we can provide female identifying survivors of family violence, sexual assault and technology facilitated abuse with free pre-paid smart phones, including $30 credit, as a way of helping link them in with life changing supports. Female identifying staff and students who have experienced technology facilitated abuse can be referred to Safer Community for a Safe Connection phone and credit, and advice on appropriate internal and external support services.

Contact Safer Community for a Safe Connection:

P: 9479 8988
E: safercommunity@latrobe.edu.au
W: www.latrobe.edu.au/safercommunity
Office: PE, Level 2, Bundoora Campus

Victimisation

La Trobe University prohibits retaliation against anyone involved in a notification or complaint of unacceptable behaviour.

Victimisation is subjecting or threatening to subject someone to a detriment because they have asserted their rights, made a complaint, helped someone else make a complaint, or refused to do something because it would be discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation. Victimisation is against the law.

It is also victimisation to threaten someone (such as a witness) who may be involved in investigating a concern or complaint.

Victimisation is a very serious breach of policy and may result in formal discipline against the perpetrator.

Relevant Policies and Procedures

Report Online

For emergency assistance, please call

Emergency Services on 000
or Campus Security on 03 9479 2222