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Prevention of Family Violence

Family Violence is widespread, serious and preventable. It is a critical public health and safety issue in Australia where one in six women and one in sixteen men have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a current or previous partner (ABS, 2016).

Preventing family violence is everyone’s responsibility. Kingston City Council is well placed to take a leading role in preventing Family Violence due to its contact with the community, strong partnerships and collaborative approach in working with the community, local organisations and other levels of government.

If you are in any immediate danger or want to report an incident, please call the Police on 000.

What is Family Violence

Family violence includes a range of behaviours perpetrated to control the victim, including physical violence and verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, social abuse (such as isolation) and stalking. It includes threatening, controlling, dominating or making another person feel fearful. It can include:

  • Any physical violence, such as slapping or punching,
  • Forcing sexual relations, even if you are married,
  • Making threats or calling you or other family members names,
  • Constantly following, calling, texting and making them feel distressed,
  • Controlling contact with other people,
  • Denying access to money,
  • Preventing them worshipping in their desired faith,
  • Threatening or hurting pets, and/or
  • When children hear, witness, or see the effects of violence on another family member.

While men and women can be perpetrators or victims of family violence, the overwhelming majority of perpetrators are men, and the victims are women and their children.

The violence can occur in many different types of relationships including between intimate partners (domestic violence), from a parent to a child, from a child to a parent, between siblings, grandparents, extended families, kinship networks or carer relationships.

Family violence can affect anyone regardless of age, cultural background, education, sexuality or ability.

There are many contributing factors to family violence that make incidents increasingly frequent or severe, including alcohol or other substance consumption, problem gambling, financial stress, emergencies and other life stressors such as having a baby. However, the underlying cause of family violence is gender inequality, without which family violence would not occur. Gender is not the only risk factor for family violence. People who are disadvantaged because of race, ability, culture, language, sexual orientation, and age are also more at risk of having family violence perpetrated against them.

What is gender equality?

  • Gender equality refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women, men, trans and gender-diverse people. Equality does not mean that all people will become the same but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on their gender.
  • Gender inequality is a key cause of family violence.
  • Preventing family violence requires working together to promote gender equality by:
    • Challenging condoning violence against women;
    • Promoting women’s independence and decision-making;
    • Challenging gender stereotypes and roles; and
    • Strengthening positive, equal and respectful relationships.

What is Kingston doing?

  • Kingston is committed to working towards the vision of creating safe, equal and respectful relationships in Kingston where family violence and gender inequality are not tolerated. 
  • Kingston’s Prevention of Family Violence Action Plan 2019-2021 was endorsed by Council on 22 October 2018 and officially launched on Wednesday 27th March 2019.
  • Leading the 16 Days of Activism campaign and encouraging the community to 'Respect Women: Call It Out'
  • Kingston delivered Courage to Change, a 12-month project funded through a Free from Violence Local Government Grant. Developed in partnership with the local community, Courage to Change engaged current and emerging cultural and faith-diverse community leaders in Westall, Clarinda and Clayton South in discussion-based workshops to increase their knowledge and skills around creating safe, equal and respectful relationships, gender equality and preventing family violence. 
  • Celebrating and supporting women who make an outstanding contribution to industry, community and society, including through the annual Kingston Woman of the Year Award.
  • Promoting awareness of elder abuse and supporting older residents to remain active at home and connected within our community through providing in home and community support. Services include meals, cleaning, personal care, or regular visits from a support worker. To find out if you or a family member is eligible for services visit My Aged Care or call 1800 200 422.

What you can do?

  • Get involved with local activities as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign (25 November - 10 December).
  • Find out more about what Council is doing and how we all have a role to play by reading the Prevention of Family Violence Action Plan 2019-2021 or the summary.
  • Council and Creativa in partnership with Victoria Police and the Kingston community, commenced a campaign in late 2014 called 'Help Draw the Line', with the production of short videos encouraging the community to Help Draw the Line against controlling violence. Watch these videos and Help Draw the Line against controlling violence by showing leadership on this issue at home, in your workplace and with your friends.
  • Prepare yourself with information linked to this page, particularly by undertaking the Family Violence/Gender Equity Online Training Module.
  • Challenge gender norms and sexist behaviours by letting people know these behaviours are not acceptable to you.
  • Enquire whether your workplace or organisation has undertaken a gender audit to identify if the outcomes and experiences of men, women and transgender people are equal.
  • Hold an event raising awareness of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November).
  • Find out more about Respect Victoria- a new organisation dedicated to preventing all forms of family violence. See how you can get involved in stopping violence before it starts in our community.

Key Family Violence Specialist Services 

safesteps: Family Violence Response Centre
1800 015 188 (24 hours)
Crisis support and referral to safe accommodation for women and children.

The Orange Door, Bayside Peninsula
1800 319 353

1800 737 732 (24 hours)
National helpline that provides confidential information, counselling and support services.

No to Violence Men’s Referral Service
1300 766 491
Telephone counselling and information for men.

Download the Daisy App for information about local support services.

Download the Sunny app created by Women with Disabilities Australia.

Support for Women and Children

Salvation Army – Family Violence Outreach Services
St Kilda: 9536 7797 or 1800 627 727 (free call)
Housing information, referral assistance and related support for women and children.

8792 8999 (Head Office), 9521 5666 (Windsor)
Counselling service for women, young people and children who have experienced family violence. Group programs for women.

Emerge Women’s and Children’s Support Network
Support for women and children experiencing family violence and homelessness including refuge and crisis accommodation, outreach programs, financial counselling, children’s services, art therapy and infant wellbeing programs.

Family Life
Cheltenham and Sandringham Offices: 8599 5433
Counselling, mediation and support services for children, young people, women, men and families.

9525 1300
Family violence counselling for women and children.

South East Centre against Sexual Assault (SECASA)
9594 2289 – Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
1800 806 292 (free call) – After hours Sexual Assault Crisis Line and
Counselling, information, referral and advocacy support for victims of/or survivors of sexual assault.

Support for Children

Child Protection (South Division)
1300 655 795 or 13 12 78 (after hours)
Contact if you have significant concerns for the safety or welfare of a child or young person.

Kids Help Line
1800 551 800 (24 hours)
Telephone, web and email support on any issue children wish to talk about.

Alannah & Madeline Foundation
9697 0666 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
“Children Ahead” program uses a case management approach for children 0-18 who have experienced or witnessed violence. This program works with families and children focusing on social skills, connecting children, health, educational support, parent support, emotional wellbeing, buddy links.

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Elisabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women’s Service
9482 5744 (Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-4pm)
Support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women and children experiencing family violence including refuge, outreach services, housing assistance and counselling.

1800 105 303 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service for Aboriginal women and men who are experiencing or have experienced family violence.

Support for Older People

Seniors Rights Victoria
1300 368 821
Free services to help prevent elder abuse.

South East Centre against Sexual Assault (SECASA)
9928 8741 – Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
1800 806 292 (free call) – After hours Sexual Assault Crisis Line 
Counselling, information, referral and advocacy support for victims of/or survivors of sexual assault.

Relationships Australia Elder Relationship Services
1300 364 0171

Support for the LGBTIQ+ Community

1800 184 527 (3pm to midnight)
Counselling, information and referrals for the LGBTIQ+ community

Rainbow Door
1800 729 367
Specialist helpline for LGBTIQ+ Victorians, their friends and family. 

Victorian Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs)
9247 6944
Consider talking to a specially trained GLLO who are sensitive to GLBTIQ+ issues.

South East Centre against Sexual Assault (SECASA)
9928 8741 – Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
1800 806 292 (free call) – After hours Sexual Assault Crisis Line and
Counselling, information, referral and advocacy support for victims of/or survivors of sexual assault.

Support for Men

Men’s Line Australia
1800 065 973
Telephone counselling and information for men.

South East Centre against Sexual Assault (SECASA)
9928 8741 – Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
1800 806 292 (free call) – After hours Sexual Assault Crisis Line and
Counselling, information, referral and advocacy support for victims of/or survivors of sexual assault.

Family Life
Cheltenham and Sandringham Offices: 8599 5433
Counselling, mediation and support services for men.

8650 6200 / 1300 543 396
Men’s Behaviour Change programs

9525 1300
Men’s Behaviour Change programs

Support for Multicultural Communities

In Touch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence
1800 755 988 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm)
Crisis, legal and immigration support in your language.

Support for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Blue Knot Foundation - National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma
1300 657 380 (9am-5pm 7 days a week)
Short-term counselling and support information for you or someone you know impacted by childhood trauma. 

More Helpful Websites

For links to more support services in Kingston go to (Bayside area)

Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

Family Safety Victoria


Respect Victoria

More information

If you would like any other information or are interested in leading change in our community, please contact Kingston's Preventing Family Violence Officer on 1300 653 356 or email