Contact the Victims of Crime Helpline
The Victorian Government’s Victims of Crime Helpline offers information, advice and support for you and your family.
Contacting the helpline is the first step to get free services to help you manage the effects of crime.
The helpline provides:
- advice about reporting a crime
- information about the legal process, including after the offender is in jail
- help applying for compensation and financial assistance
- connections to other support services, such as the Victims Assistance Program.
Free support is available anywhere in Victoria
The Victims of Crime Helpline can organise a support worker to help you with:
- your day to day needs
- emergency home security
- managing your personal safety
- communicating with police and making a report
- organising counselling, transport and medical services
- getting ready for court
- preparing a Victim Impact Statement
- applying for financial assistance
- getting information about the offender.
This free service is available by contacting the Victims of Crime Helpline.
Open: 8am-11pm, 7 days a week
Call: 1800 819 817
Text: 0427 767 891
Other support services
Support at court
Witness Assistance Service
If your case is being heard in the County Court or Supreme Court, The Witness Assistance Service supports victims of crime, family members and witnesses through the court process.
The Witness Assistance Service can:
- give you information about the progress of your case
- give you information about the prosecution process
- support you through meetings with solicitors and prosecutors
- help you with arrangements for being in court
- connect you with other support services.
Call: 1800 641 927
Court Network can provide a trained volunteer to support you at court.
Court Network volunteers can:
- give support and information about going to court
- be with you on your day in court
- explain how the courts and legal systems work
- show you around the court beforehand, so you know where you have to go on the day of your court case
- provide you with a safe place in court
- connect you to other community services that can help you.
Call: 1800 681 614
Child Witness Service
The Child Witness Service gives support to children and young people who need to give evidence in court.
The service is staffed by social workers and psychologists, and has a child-friendly environment for learning about court processes.
The service has a remote witness room, which means the witness may not have to give evidence in the courtroom in front of the accused person.
Any child or young person under 18 years of age who is a victim or a witness in a criminal matter can use the service.
Call: 1300 790 540
Federation of Community Legal Centres
Community legal centres provide free legal services to people who can’t get legal aid and cannot afford a private lawyer.
Visit www.communitylaw.org.au (external link) to find your nearest Community Legal Centre.
Victoria Legal Aid
The Victoria Legal Aid Legal (VLA) Information Service provides free general legal information over the phone.
Open: 8.45am-5.15pm, Monday to Friday
Call: 1800 677 402. Interpreter and National Relay Service Friendly
Women's Legal Service Victoria
Free and confidential legal information and advice for women.
Call: 1800 133 302
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
legal advice and representation for the Koori community
Call: 1800 064 865
Website: www.vals.org.au (external link)
Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service
Legal services, information and counselling for Indigenous victims of family violence and sexual assault.
Call: 1800 105 303
Website: www.fvpls.org (external link)
Help for different types of crime
Coronial Services Centre Counselling
Information for family members about a coroner's investigation.
Call: 1300 309 519
24 hour service for women and children experiencing violence and abuse from:
- a partner
- another family member or someone close to them.
Call: 1800 015 188. Open 24/7.
Domestic Violence Resource Centre
Information for people experiencing family violence.
Website: www.dvrcv.org.au (external link)
Men's Referral Service
Telephone counselling for men who use violence towards family members.
Call: 1800 065 973
Website: www.mrs.org.au (external link)
inTouch - Multicultural Centre against Family Violence
Culturally appropriate family violence services for CALD (Culturally And Linguistically Diverse) communities.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Call: 1800 755 988
Website: www.intouch.asn.au (external link)
Women's Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE)
Telephone information, support and referral for women
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Call: 1300 134 130
Website: www.wire.org.au (external link)
Elizabeth Hoffman House
24 hour service providing crisis accommodation and support for Aboriginal women and spouses of Aboriginal men.
Call: 03 9403 9400
Centres Against Sexual Assault
Centres Against Sexual Assault offer free and confidential counselling across Victoria to victim/survivors of sexual assault, and their family members/carers.
They also offer the Sexual Assault Crisis Line, a free and confidential 24 hour emergency service for victim/survivors of sexual assault.
Call: 1800 806 292
Website: www.casa.org.au (external link)
Transport Accident Commission (TAC)
Open: 8.30am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday
Call: 1800 332 556
Website: www.tac.vic.gov.au (external link)
Road Trauma Support Services Victoria
Counselling and support to people affected by road trauma
Call: 1300 367 797
Website: www.rtssv.org.au (external link)
People with disabilities
The Victims of Crime Helpline is National Relay Service friendly
If you are deaf, or have a hearing impairment or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service (external link):
- TTY users phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 819 817
- Speak and Listen users phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 819 817
- Internet relay users connect to the NRS (external link) then ask for 1800 819 817
- video relay users choose the available NRS video relay contact on Skype and ask for 1800 819 817
- SMS relay users phone 0423 677 767 and ask for 1800 819 817.
Office of the Public Advocate
The Office of Public Advocate (OPA) supports people who cannot represent themselves. If a person is not capable of reporting a crime to police or making a statement to the police the OPA can help. Independent Third Person Program consists of a team of volunteers who assist people with a cognitive disability or mental illness during interviews or when making a formal statement to Victoria Police.
Call: 1300 309 337 or 03 9603 9500
Website: www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au (external link)
Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Centre
Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service is a free, Victoria-wide community legal centre that works exclusively with disability related legal issues. The service has a particular focus on issues which affect people with an intellectual disability.
- a free phone line for advice, information and referral
- casework on disability related legal issues, primarily for people with an intellectual disability
- free information sheets on a range of disability rights topics (see the website).
Call: 03 5229 2925
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Website: www.villamanta.org.au (external link)
Villamanta Advice Line
This free service provides advice, information and referral about disability related legal issues. It is for people who have a disability, advocates, carers, and non-government or not-for-profit service providers.
Call: 1800 014 111
Open: Monday to Friday, 1pm-3pm
Mental Health Legal Centre
The Mental Health Legal Centre provides a free and confidential legal service to anyone who has experienced mental illness in Victoria where their legal problem relates to their mental illness. All centre activities aim to promote the rights of people who experience mental illness. The Centre is a non-profit organisation run by an independent Committee of Management. If you need to talk to a lawyer, ring the advice line.
Open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 3pm -5pm. Tuesday and Thursday: 6.30pm-8.30pm
Call: 1800 555 887
Website: www.communitylaw.org.au (external link)
Kids Helpline (24 hour telephone counselling for children)
Call: 1800 551 800
Website: www.kidshelp.com.au (external link)
Child Protection Emergency Service (DHS)
Call: 131 278 (After Hours Child Protection Crisis Line)
Children's Protection Society
CPS is an independent child welfare organisation with a mission to break the cycle of abuse and neglect in families. CPS provides child and family services and has a specialist counselling program for children.
Call: 03 9450 0900
Website: www.cps.org.au (external link)
Services for young people
Free and confidential legal advice for young people up to 25 years.
Call: 03 9611 2412
Website: www.youthlaw.asn.au (external link)
Frontyard Youth Services
Frontyard Youth Services can help with the physical, emotional and social needs of young people aged 12 to 25 years who spend time in the Melbourne CBD and who are homeless or marginalised. Some of the services also work with young people across the whole of Victoria. The Frontyard Services seek to provide young people with choices that contribute to their health and future wellbeing.
Call: 03 9611 2411 or 1800 800 531
Website: www.melbournecitymission.org.au (external link)
Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs)
GLLOs provide discrete, non-judgemental advice and assistance about reporting a crime as well as information about support services. You can contact a GLLO anonymously.
Call: 03 8690 1231
Switchboard is a volunteer organisation which provides a free, confidential and anonymous telephone counselling, referral and information service for the Victorian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities and their supporters.
Call: 03 9663 2939, Country Callers: 1800 184 527
Open: 3pm-Midnight every day
Website: www.switchboard.org.au (external link)
Housing and Homelessness
Statewide Housing Assistance
Call Statewide Housing Assistance to speak with a housing and support worker if you are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or escaping family violence. This number will direct your call to a service closest to you, or if the call is outside business hours, it will be directed to Salvation Army Crisis Services.
Call: 1800 825 955 (24 hour statewide toll free, except from mobiles)
Website: www.housing.vic.gov.au (external link)