Police and the justice system
It is critical people call 000 if they are in immediate danger. The police have a responsibility to take immediate action to protect life and property, and support anyone experiencing violence or the threat of violence.
Police have wide ranging powers to deal with family violence. They can conduct searches of people and residences to ensure the safety of the parties involved. Police can too, refer a person experiencing violence to support services. Police can also arrest people for criminal offences, detain someone who is using violence against another person and issue a Family Violence Safety Notice to bring someone before the court. A court can then impose a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) to impose conditions on the person committing violence.
People experiencing family violence can also apply for an FVIO directly to the Magistrates’ Court. This can be done either online, or in person at a court where a registrar can assist, and does not have to involve the police.
See Legal Aid for more information on Family Violence Safety Notices and Family Violence Intervention Orders.
If it is not an emergency, someone experiencing family violence can call or attend their local police station to report threats, abuse and violence. LGBTIQ Liaison Officers (GLLOs) are designated officers within Victoria Police who are trained to assist LGBTIQ people with a broad range of issues including family violence. Victoria Police GLLOs can assist by providing discreet, non-judgmental advice and assistance in the reporting of crimes, including where someone is the target of prejudice or hatred based on their sexuality or gender identity. GLLOs can support people to work out the most suitable process for reporting the matter, and can provide expert advice and assistance to police investigators. More information, including the list of GLLOs and their contact numbers, is available on the Victoria Police website.
Please note that GLLOs are not available at every police station and are not available 24 hours a day.