As we prepare ourselves for physical distancing and self-isolation, we need to remember home is not always the safest place.
For some in our community – job losses and insecure housing can mean that we are forced back to other homes with family or friends which can be highly conflictual and for others unsafe.
Research shows the rates and severity of Family Violence increase significantly following natural disasters and periods of isolation. This is not because all people suddenly become violent, but because people who have used violence previously are in circumstances which enable greater access to their partners and family and can have more opportunities to use violence. There are also often reduced resources, community support services and police availability during times of crisis.
What this means is we need to prepare and do what we can to support ourselves, our families and our communities. The most important thing is to be aware of what resources and supports are available to those experiencing family violence and how to access them.
If you are unsafe contact police on 000. Police are responding to urgent matters regardless of physical distancing and isolation.
Safe Steps 24/7
Family Violence Crisis Response Service available to women and children.
Phone 1800 015 188 | 24 hrs, 7 days a week (free call)
WithRespect is a family violence and intimate partner violence service supporting LGBTIQ+ communities and their families.
WithRespect offers a service model which can respond to both the person impacted by violence and the person using violence. WithRespect is not a crisis response service.
Phone 1800 542 847 | Monday – Friday 9am -5pm
After Hours Support, Referral, and Telecounselling is available on Wednesday, between 5pm and 11pm, and on Saturday and Sunday, between 3pm and 10pm.
Services working with LGBTIQ+ communities
Services working with LGBTIQ+ communities, can refer people for Intake and Referral for support via 1800 542 847, or fax 03 9639 3363
Queerspace provides counselling, case management, flexible support packages, referrals and recovery programs for LGBTIQ+ victim/survivors of family violence and
Queerspace face-to-face client contact and outreach services are currently provided via digital platforms including phone and video. This will expand to online groups, seminars, community education and resources.
Phone 03 9663 6733 | Monday to Friday, 9am –5pm
Thorne Harbour Health
Thorne Harbour Health provide counselling, casework, brokerage and behaviour change support for LGBTI community members either experiencing family violence or using violence in their relationships. Currently these services are provided remotely via telephone and video conferencing.
Phone 9865 6700 | Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Men’s Referral Service
Men’s Referral Service a men’s family violence telephone counselling, referral and information service for:
Phone 1300 766 491 | Monday to Friday 8am - 9pm, and weekends 9am - 5pm.
Live chat is available through the website https://ntv.org.au | Monday to Friday 8am - 9pm and weekends and public holidays 10am - 3pm
QLife (Switchboard) Is a phone counselling and online chat service for LGBTI community members.
Phone 1800 184 527
Chat via the website at https://qlife.org.au | 6pm and midnight everyday
1800RESPECT is a confidential information, counselling and support service
Phone 1800 737 732 | 24 hrs, 7 days a week
InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
Case management support to clients via phone, and teleconferencing and phone support for clients at four courts across Melbourne. Legal and migration support to existing and new clients via phone and teleconferencing. Please note inTouch is not a crisis service.
Phone 1800 819 817
WIRE – Women’s Information and Referral Exchange
WIRE – Women’s Information and Referral Exchange offers telephone support and referral options for women and female-identifying, and non-binary people. This is not a crisis service. There is an online chat facility available.
Phone 1300 134 130
24-hour phone counselling service
Phone 13 11 14
Housing Support Services
DHHS has a list of housing and crisis support services
Phone 1800 825 955 (free call) or (03) 9536 7777 | State-wide After-Hours Service
With Respect has several resources and fact sheets regarding Family and Intimate Partner Violence within the LGBTIQ+ communities, and their family or friends, who are affected by family violence. https://www.withrespect.org.au
Food and material aid during coronavirus
Victorians self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19) with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages under a program introduced by the Victorian Government. For more information phone the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
Ask Izzy has a list of emergency type aid such as food supplies searchable by postcode. Organisations here will each have their own responses to COVID-19 that are being updated https://askizzy.org.au/food
Interpreter services for non-English speakers
This service is available to any individual or organisation in Australia, enabling non-English speakers to independently access services and information over the phone. TIS National's immediate phone interpreting service (24 hrs, 7 days a week) 131 450