Information for people with disability – family violence and abuse in relationships

If you experience violence in your family or relationship in Victoria, services are available to give you support and assistance.

About family violence and abuse in relationships

Family violence is a pattern of behaviour where one person tries to control or scare another person. It is a form of abuse that can happen in many different types of relationships.

People with disability can be at greater risk of experiencing some forms of abuse such as mistreatment and neglect.

On this website you can learn more about:

Do you need help?

If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime is currently occurring, please call police on Triple Zero (000). If you cannot access a phone you can also go to your local police station

There are good reasons to report violence and abuse, but if you are not ready to do that yet, or do not want to involve the police, you can still get help. Talking to a trusted person, like a counsellor, family member, doctor or friend can be a good first step and they can help you talk to the police or other services if you want them to.

Victims of Crime Helpline

If you would like confidential advice about the options and assistance available to you, you can contact the Victims of Crime Helpline.

Open: 8am–11pm, every day
Call: 1800 819 817
Text: 0427 767 891

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:

  • 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 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.

More services

You can find out more about general family violence services available in Victoria.

You can also contact specialist services available for people with disability.

Office of the Public Advocate

The Office of Public Advocate (OPA) works to safeguard the rights and interests of people with disability.

It provides:

  • easy English guides about abuse
  • an advice service for people with disability and their family, carers and friends
  • the Community Visitor program who can visit disability accommodation services, supported residential services and mental health facilities to ensure residents and patients are being cared for appropriately.

If a person with disability needs support reporting a crime to police or making a statement to the police, the OPA can help. The Independent Third Person Program consists of a team of volunteers who assist people with cognitive disability or mental illness during interviews or when making a formal statement to Victoria Police.

Open: 9am–4.45pm, Monday to Friday
Call: 1300 309 337

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 intellectual disability.

Call: (03) 5227 338 (general calls) or 1800 014 111 (telephone advice service)

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.

Legal advice telephone line
Open: 6pm–8pm, Tuesday and Thursday evenings
Call: (03) 9629 4422 (metropolitan callers) or 1800 555 887 (free call from rural Victoria)