Family violence

Deakin recognises staff and students may experience situations of family violence that may impact upon their attendance or performance at work or on their studies. Support is available to you.

Contact us

Immediate response

  • On campus – call Deakin Security on 1800 062 579 for 24/7 support.
  • for use on campus.
  • Off campus – call emergency services (police and ambulance) on Triple Zero 000.

Polices and procedures

For staff needing to access family violence leave, or students needing to access special consideration, please refer to the policy and procedure and speak to the Safer Community team.

What is family violence?

For many reasons it can be difficult for someone to recognise the signs of family violence.

Family violence is any behaviour that coerces, controls, threatens, causes physical, sexual or emotional damage or causes someone to be fearful. The non-physical forms of abuse can be just as damaging as sexual and physical violence. If someone feels disrespected, unable to be themselves, afraid to disagree or negotiate for what they want, this may be a sign of abuse.

Forms of abuse

All forms of abuse have damaging consequences for victims, children and families. Forms of abuse include:

  • emotional abuse
  • social abuse
  • financial abuse
  • sexual harm
  • stalking
  • physical abuse
  • spiritual abuse
  • technology-facilitated abuse
  • behaviour that causes a child to hear, witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of that behaviour.

If you have experienced family violence

We are here to provide a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space to listen to you and offer support. We can provide information and talk through the options available to you, if or when you choose. We will handle all information and referrals in a sensitive nature.

You will be treated with kindness, care, compassion, respect, dignity and empathy. Our service aims to empower you to make informed choices and decisions. It is up to you to decide if, where and when you seek help.

Safer Community can assist with:

  • providing a supportive, safe and non-judgmental place to disclose domestic and family violence, via phone, email or in-person
  • advice to staff and students to ensure a victim survivor response is always provided
  • information and advice regarding academic accommodations and special consideration
  • exploring the support and reporting options available to you, and can facilitate referrals to university supports and external agencies such as domestic family violence services, courts, police, counselling, legal services and emergency housing
  • providing strategies on increasing your personal safety, implementing safety precautions and protective measures, and developing your safety plan
  • information regarding applying for a personal safety order (intervention order) through police or direct application to a Magistrates’ Court
  • assistance from Deakin Security while arriving at campus, while on campus, or while leaving campus.

Leaving an abusive relationship

No-one likes, asks for or wants to live with abuse or violence, but working out what to do, or whether to stay or leave can be hard. We are here to listen, and can refer to external services such as Orange Door and 1800RESPECT who can assist with your safety planning and available options.

Supporting someone who has disclosed family violence

Finding out that someone you know is being hurt is difficult and can be upsetting. It is common that people want to help but don't know what to do, or what to say. There are simple things you can do that can make a big difference. It is very important that people are listened to, and supported to make their own choices, when they are ready.

If someone you know experiences family violence you should seek professional support. Speak with Safer Community to ensure you are providing the person with the right information and support. For more information about how to respond and support someone

How to support someone experiencing family violence

During business hours

  • Safer Community staff can provide phone and email advice, as well as in-person appointments, Monday–Friday, 9am–4pm.

After hours support

Internal supports

External supports

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