Terminology used in the Client Partnership Strategy for The Orange Door.

Use of terminology describing family violence

Language used to describe experiences of family violence, and personal identities across communities, is complex and evolving. The language in this document will not apply to everyone and some people or professionals may identify with or use different terms. Definitions used in this document are provided in the following section.

Family violence is deeply gendered — overwhelmingly the majority of perpetrators are men and victim survivors are women and children. It is acknowledged that broader conceptions of gender apply to individuals’ identities, experiences and manifestations of family violence. Therefore this document does not use gendered language to describe every form of family violence.



In this document the term Aboriginal is inclusive of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Victoria.

Aboriginal self-determination

Aboriginal self-determination is the most fundamental of all rights for Aboriginal people. It means Aboriginal people and communities having true freedom, full and total control of their own safety, healing, connections to land and culture, communities, futures and lives.

Clients and people with lived experience

Clients of The Orange Door are: people of all ages who are experiencing or have experienced family violence; families who need support with the care and wellbeing of their children; and people who have used violence.

There are various terms used to refer to people who use or may use community services and many different views about what is preferred. This document uses the term ‘client’ or ‘people with lived experience’ to describe:

  • people who have had direct contact with The Orange Door
  • people with a current or previous experience of the types of services accessed through The Orange Door
  • people with current or previous needs that could be addressed through The Orange Door, but have not accessed services (due to barriers to access or some other reason)
  • the families, carers and communities of all of the above


The process of working together with people who use or deliver services to design and improve services.


Community Service Organisation


Department of Premier and Cabinet


Department of Health and Human Services


Family Safety Victoria


Intersectionality describes how systems and structures interact on multiple levels to oppress, create barriers and overlapping forms of discrimination, stigma and power imbalances based on characteristics such as Aboriginality, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, colour, nationality, refugee or asylum seeker background, migration or visa status, language, religion, ability, age, mental health, socioeconomic status, housing status, geographic location, medical record or criminal record. This compounds the risk of experiencing vulnerability and family violence and creates additional barriers for a person to access the help they need.

People who use/have used violence and perpetrators

People who currently use or have previously used family violence.

The Orange Door partners

The service providers working together in partnership to deliver The Orange Door. This includes CSOs and Aboriginal services, FSV and DHHS.

Victim survivors

This term is used to describe people who have experienced family violence, including children.


Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council


This term is used here to refer to service delivery staff, including management and leadership of The Orange Door partners.