Emergency Services – Police, Ambulance, Fire
Crisis and Emergency Housing
Child Protection After Hours Service
Tel: 13 12 78
Women’s Domestic Violence
Tel: 1800 015 188
Family violence includes physical harm, sexual assault, psychological, verbal, economic and social abuse. It also cover threats to harm other family members or pets, and children who hear, witness or are exposed to the effects of family violence.
Everyone has the right to feel safe in their family and home. If you are experiencing family violence you have a right to be protected and live free from family violence. Family violence can stop.
The Ask Someone website has been designed to help you, or someone you know who has experienced family violence in any form, seek free professional support and information 24/7.
Tel: 1300 766 491
Relationships have their ups and downs, with occasional disagreements or arguments. Most people will feel frustrated, disappointed or angry with a relative or partner at some point. But there’s a difference between a healthy level of disagreement and using violence and control. If your partner or relative feels too intimidated, threatened or frightened to have their say, the balance of power in the relationship is no longer equal – regardless of whether or not you intended for that to happen.
It can be tough facing up to difficult problems and asking for help. Men’s Referral Service can help you access services to make the changes you need to so that you can be safe around your partner and family.
The Men’s Referral Service is a men’s family violence telephone counselling, information and referral service and is the central point of contact for men taking responsibility for their violent behaviour. Men’s Referral Service also provide support and referrals for women and men seeking information on behalf of their male partners, friends or family members.
Good Shepherd Microfinance is Australia’s largest microfinance organisation. They offer a range of people-centred, affordable financial programs for people on low incomes at different financial stages of their lives. This includes NILS (no interest loans), StepUP (low interest loans), HESS (home energy saver scheme) and AddsUp (savings plan).
Their aim, together with those of our community partners, is to enable clients to realise their own economic wellbeing, as they define it themselves, through appropriate financial services. As a result, people feel valued, accepted and included and in control of their own finances and lives. Our programs have reached more than 140,000 people previously excluded from mainstream banking access to loans and savings, with repayment rates consistently above 95%.
Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service is a community service organisation helping people battle poverty and disadvantage. Good Shepherd offer health and wellbeing programs, mentoring, counselling and services for women and their children escaping from family violence.
The Good Shepherd Youth & Family Services Dollars ‘n’ Sense program assists people in financial hardship to gain security and independence through small loans, financial counselling and buying services. Please note this service is only available in certain local government areas of Melbourne.
MoneyHelp is a not for profit telephone financial counselling service operated by Consumer Action Law Centre. MoneyHelp provides free confidential financial information and financial counselling to Victorians experiencing problems with money or debt. If you are having trouble paying your rent, mortgage, credit cards, or other bills, the financial counsellors at MoneyHelp may be able to assist you.
Before ringing the service (or in addition to ringing the service) you can visit the website for tips and tools to help if you are in financial difficulty. You will find practical information that is specific to your situation, including sample letters, fact sheets, budget tools to work out your income and expenses and prioritise your debt, debt payment options, information about hardship programs, and information about your rights and entitlements after losing your job.
Please note that MoneyHelp does not lend or give out money.
Al-Anon Family Groups help family members and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with a problem drinker.
Alateen provides support for teenagers affected by the problem drinking of a parent or other family member.
Whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not, Al-Anon and Alateen offer hope and recovery to people affected by the alcoholism of a relative or friend. Support group meetings are held daytime and evenings all over metropolitan and country areas.
Al-Anon/Alateen also have an extensive range of books and pamphlets available for purchase.
Helpline: 1300 252 666
Remember: You are not alone and there is always hope.
Do you need your landlord or agent to repair something in your home?
Anika Legal is a free online service for Victorian renters that helps get repairs made in your home. Anika Legal will connect you with a lawyer for free legal advice, negotiate with your landlord or agent on your behalf, and work with you to reach a resolution.
Justice Connect Homeless Law has launched a Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project. Women who are facing eviction into homelessness (including women on low incomes in public, community or private rental who have received notices to vacate or have a VCAT hearing) will be eligible for assistance.
The Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project involves a weekly outreach clinic, staffed by pro bono lawyers as well as a dedicated social worker, who will attend client appointments and assist with case co-ordination. Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project aims to prevent the eviction of women and children into homelessness and sustain their tenancies in the long term.
Tel: 1300 792 387. Call for free information about the law and how Victoria Legal Aid can help you, Monday to Friday from 8.45 am to 5.15 pm
Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) is a government funded agency set up to ensure that people who cannot afford to pay for a private lawyer can get help with their legal problems.
VLA can give you free information, provide a lawyer on duty in most courts and tribunals in Victoria, and fund legal representation if you meet their eligibility criteria. VLA assess eligibility based on your financial situation, the nature and seriousness of your problem, and your individual circumstances
VLA can help you with a range of legal problems including tenancy, family breakdown, family violence, infringements, criminal matters, mental health and discrimination. Their services are available through offices across Victoria.
It can be difficult and even confusing trying to find the information you need about housing. HOUSING.vic.gov.au understand. The HOUSING.vic.gov.au website makes it easier to find the right information about housing and housing assistance in Victoria. Their website is a helpful resource to assist with housing choices for current public housing tenants, potential social housing tenants and anyone wanting to know about housing in Victoria.
Try the Housing Options Finder: answer a few questions to see what housing options may be right for you.
Housing Choices mission is to be a leading provider of affordable homes across Australia, working with partners to create resilient and inclusive neighbourhoods. Services include provision of low-cost housing for people on low incomes, people with a disability or are homeless.
Housing Choices believe that successful tenancies start from your first interaction and continue with the development of a positive relationship built on open communication and trust.
Carers Victoria offers a range of services to carers including:
- A Carers Advisory Line (1800 242 636) with experienced staff to assist carers in navigating the supports available to them in their caring role
- Support services
- Funding opportunities
- Carer education, and
- Respite services
One in eight Victorians has a caring role. A carer provides unpaid care to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, addiction or is an older person with care needs.
Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc (CSMC) is a non-profit organisation founded by single mothers to improve their lives and that of their children.
CSMC provides free and confidential telephone support, information, referral and advocacy on a range of issues including emergency relief, housing, parenting, education, social security, child support, family law, family violence and anything else single mothers or services supporting them wish to discuss.
CSMC services include:
- Telephone support, information, referral and advocacy
- Email support at email@example.com
- Information and resources, including newsletters & regular email bulletins for members
- Representation of the needs and issues of single mothers and their children through working with government and community organisations, the media and research partners.
- Advocacy to overturn the social, economic and legal discrimination against single mothers and raise the status of single mothers and their children.
- Information and resources, including newsletters & regular email bulletins for members (membership is free to single mothers).
For more information or to become a member please call the Support Line on 9654 0622 or 1300 552 511 (Outside Melbourne) or click on the logo below to visit the CSMC website.
With the help of over 100 women and girls with disability around Australia, the Our Place website exists to empower woman and girls with disability to realise their rights.
It provides practical resources and information across five main areas, all chosen by women and girls with disability:
- Human rights
- Leadership and participation
- Decision making and choices
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Safety from all forms of violence.
The website has been designed so that it can be used by as many people as possible. It is compliant to international accessibility standards, is easy to use and provides information in a variety of different formats and languages. It is also filled with “real stories” from over 40 women with disability.
If you would like to learn more about your rights head to ourplace.wwda.org.au.
Also please join the Our Place Facebook group Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Community.
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is an interpreting service provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.
WIRE is a free confidential information & referral service for all Victorian women. They offer a range of gender-specific training programs, and also research and advocate for women’s issues such as financial literacy and economic security, work-life balance and violence against women.
WIRE is a safe place to share experiences and get practical and emotional support on any issue.
One of the many programs WIRE runs is the AMICA Lunch and Activities program from Tuesday to Thursday which offers women a free healthy lunch as well as activities and excursions for women living with isolation and insecure housing.
For more information on services, resources or programs that WIRE provide please call 1300 134 130 or click on the logo below to visit the WIRE website.