Family violence, also known as domestic violence, can include physical, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse.
Witnessing episodes of violence between people they love can affect young children as much as if they were the victims of the violence. Even very young children can be profoundly frightened and affected.
Children who witness regular acts of family violence have greater emotional and behavioural problems than other children.
Family violence Therapeutic Interventions program
In January 2019 the Minister approved a call for submission process to invest $21.2 million for ongoing funding to establish a state-wide therapeutic platform to deliver therapeutic interventions for victim survivors of family violence. The new investment responds to client need with a focus on recovery, healing and safety through individually tailored and planned responses to client need.
For information on the service providers, see Family violence therapeutic program providers on the vic.gov.au website.
Family violence support services
The department provides both support services and violence prevention programs for people who have experienced family violence, through the following services:
- Family violence prevention and support services – early intervention services and post-crisis support
- Indigenous Family Violence Strategy – a community led initiative to develop a whole-of-government response to family violence in Indigenous communities. It is jointly managed by Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, the department and the Office of Women's Policy
- Men's behaviour change programs – promoting the safety of women and children and helping men to be accountable and responsible to family members, and encouraging change in men’s behaviour
- Sexual assault support services – include crisis care responses, counselling, casework, group-work, advocacy and a statewide after-hours telephone crisis service
- Sexually abusive behaviour treatment services – for children and young people under the age of 15 years who display problem sexual behaviour or sexually abusive behaviour towards others
- Court advocacy and referral – for women seeking intervention orders and also offering support to children to improve their coping skills.
These services aim to promote early intervention strategies to prevent the occurrence, or escalation of family violence and prevent the recurrence of family violence by offering post crisis support.