family violence and personal safety

Artwork: RONE, Hoddle Street Service Road, Collingwood

How we can help you

We take family safety very seriously, which is why we we have a range of family violence services ready for you.

Whether you are the applicant (the person applying for an intervention order) or the respondent (the person the order is taken out against) we can help you before, during and after your time in court.

Before you arrive

You are welcome to bring a friend or family member. We do our best to get matters to court on time, but delays happen. You'll find it comforting to have someone with you.   

Children

We encourage you to leave your children at home. As welcoming as the NJC is, court is not the best environment for children. If you must bring your children, please let us know ahead of time if you can.

'Airport security'

We don't use 'airport security' so you won't be frisked. Our security team is low-key and greet people with a smile.

Facilities

A gender neutral toilet is on Level 2 (top floor) diagonally to the right as you exit the lift.

Contact LGBTI practitioners

Phone the NJC: 9948 8777 

Email: lgbti.fv@courts.vic.gov.au (External link) (External link)

IMMEDIATE HELP

If you are in immediate danger call the police on 000.​​​​​​   

Apply for an intervention order application online (External link)

Services outside the NJC

Here's a list of excellent services. Many offer 24 hour a day support.

Applicant support

As the applicants we can help you with:

  • Crisis accommodation referrals
  • Assistance with Centrelink and other welfare benefits
  • Financially counselling services
  • General counselling
  • Mental health support
  • Victims' of crime assistance
  • Legal information and representation 
  • Emotional support. 

LGBTIQA+ applicant support

Our LGBTIQA+ applicant support worker provides emotional support, and practical assistance and information.

Help includes:

  • Referrals to services, such as housing, financial counselling, and/or mental health/counselling support, with a focus on LGBTI-run referral options as available
  • Referrals to peer support networks
  • Information about the justice process 
  • Care and emotional support 

Applicant safety at the NJC

Your safety is very important to us, and there's a number of ways we can take care of you while you're at the NJC, including:

Quiet Rooms: at risk applicants have use of rooms that only staff has access to. You can meet your lawyers, and wait for your time in court behind secure doors.

Arriving/leaving the building: we can organise to bring you into the NJC and out again safely. Talk to your lawyer or call us on 9948 8777 to discuss your safety needs.

Pre-court tour:  coming to court can be unnerving so you can tour the court and meet staff before your scheduled appearance. This way you'll know what to expect, where to go, and who to talk to. Call us on 9948 8777 to organise a tour.

Respondent support

We have a number of services here for respondents of family violence matters, and we encourage you to take the opportunity to speak to our teams.

Help includes:

  • Referrals to services including housing, addiction services, financial counselling, and men’s behaviour change programs
  • Referrals to behaviour change programs, including Caring Dads (External link)
  • Ongoing counselling and case management
  • Referrals to peer support networks
  • Information about the justice process 
  • Emotional support on the day of your hearing

LGBTIQA+ respondent support

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre takes the support and care of everyone involved in family violence matters seriously, which is why we provide members of the LGBTIQA+ community with specialist services.

Our  LGBTI Respondent Practitioners provides emotional support, practical assistance, and helpful information for both parties attending court.

Understanding family violence

Family violence (also known as domestic violence) is behaviour that creates fear, is controlling, and/or causes physical harm.

You may think family violence only refers to physical abuse, usually caused by a husband or male partner hurting his wife/female partner.  

In reality, the abusive person can be a husband, son, wife, daughter, brother, sister, de facto partner, other family member, including ex-partners/spouses. And the person (or people) at the receiving end can also be the wife, daughter, son, brother, sister, mother, father or any other member of the family.

And family violence comes in many forms, including.

  • Physical assault, such as hitting, pushing, burning, choking, rough or neglectful care giving.
  • Sexual violence, such as forced to perform sexual acts.
  • Financial abuse, such as withholding money, food, medicine, property damage, or dowry-related abuse.
  • Social isolation, such as cutting people off from family, friends, work, community life.
  • Psychological/verbal abuse, such as threats, repeated put downs, name calling, sexist, racist, ageist, homophobic abuse, or abuse about physical capabilities.
  • Property damage, such as wrecking furniture, kicking in doors, breaking windows.

You do not have to be the direct target of these behaviors to be a victim. Witnessing, hearing or being affected in any way can be just as bad as being the 'primary' victim, and this is particularly true for children. 

We should all live in safe homes. Family violence is wrong, and no matter who you are or where you are from, you do not have to live with it. 
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