JavaScript is required

Glossary of terms

Adolescent or young person 'who uses violence'

Adolescents or young people between the ages of 10 and 17 who use family violence are referred to as an ‘adolescent or young person’ who uses violence. This language reflects that adolescents who use family violence are a distinct group. This cohort requires distinct responses tailored to the age of the young person and their concurrent safety and developmental needs. Young people who use violence against a family member are often also themselves victim survivors. 

Affected family member

The term affected family member is used by police to refer to the individual deemed to be most harmed and affected by events occurring during a family violence incident. Police assess risk, considering past family violence and any recorded criminal history. They identify who is being harmed and affected the most during an incident. 

Children and young people

Children and young people are classified as anyone younger than 18 years of age. When a child or young person is referred to as a ‘person who uses violence’, children aged between 10 and 17 years old are included. This is in recognition of the specific legal status of this age group and because the criminal age of liability in Victoria is 10 years old.

Family Violence Incident (or Family Incident)

An incident attended by Victoria Police where a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Report (also known as an L17 form) was completed.

Family Violence Intervention Order

Family Violence Intervention orders include conditions to stop the respondent from using family violence against the protected person. If the respondent breaks the conditions of an intervention order, police can charge them with a criminal offence. 

Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme

The Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme enables the sharing of information between authorised organisations to assess and manage family violence risk. 

Family Violence Intervention Order Breach 

If a respondent breaks the conditions of an family violence intervention order, family violence safety notice or a counselling order,  police can charge them with a criminal offence. This is called a breach. 

Family violence sector

The family violence sector encompasses all stakeholders who work within the family violence workforce and contribute to the family violence reform.

Family violence system

The family violence system incorporates all the family violence initiatives conducted by the sector as part of the family violence reform. 

Intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence refers to any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship. 

L17 form

An L17 form refers to the Victoria Police Risk Assessment and Management Report that Victoria Police are required to complete after they have attended a family incident. The report is completed when family incidents, interfamilial-related sexual offences, and child abuse are reported to police.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework

The Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework ensures services are effectively identifying, assessing and managing family violence risk.  


An ‘offender’ describes a person who has been found guilty of an offence. 


A perpetrator of family violence is an adult who uses violence or threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour against family members as defined in the Family Violence Protection Act (2008), in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships.  

Predominant aggressor

When police attend and record a family violence incident, the term ‘predominant aggressor’ (or ‘other party’) is used to describe the person who they determine is causing harm to others.

The predominant aggressor is the perpetrator who is using violence and coercive control to dominate, intimidate or cause fear in their partner or family member, and for whom, once they have been violent, particularly the use of physical or sexual violence, all of their other actions take on the threat of violence.

Primary prevention

Whole of population initiatives that address the primary (‘first’ or ‘underlying’) drivers of violence. Primary prevention works by identifying the deep underlying causes of violence. This includes the social norms, structures and practices that influence individual attitudes and behaviours. Primary prevention acts across the whole population to change these, not just the behaviour of perpetrators. 

Primary prevention of family violence workforce

The primary prevention of family violence workforce includes those who work to prevent family violence through systemic / organisational / community-level initiatives. 

Example roles: family violence primary prevention officer or practitioner, family violence or respectful relationships educator, gender equity officer, prevention of violence against women officer, family violence health promotion officer, manager or trainer of primary prevention officers or practitioners, etc.


In both individual and police applications for family violence intervention orders, the ‘respondent’ describes the person against whom an order is sought.  

Royal Commission into Family Violence

The Royal Commission was Australia’s first Royal Commission into Family Violence. It was the established in 2015 after a number of family violence-related deaths in Victoria – most notably the death of Luke Batty. 

The role of the Commission was to find ways to: 

  • prevent family violence 

  • improve support for victim survivors 

  • hold perpetrators to account.  

The Commission included 25 days of public hearings. Community conversations were held with over 800 Victorians and nearly 1,000 written submissions were received. 

The Commission made 227 recommendations to reduce the impact of family violence in our community, with the Victorian Government committing to implement all recommendations.

Service navigators

Service navigators are responsible for identifying shared priorities at the local level. They explore new opportunities to partner and provide service responses to Victorians seeking support and safety through The Orange Door

Specialist family violence practitioners (workers)

Specialist family violence practitioners are people who work directly with victim survivors, perpetrators, or cases of family violence as a family violence response specialist; 


Those who work directly with family violence response specialists as a manager, supervisor or trainer; or in a capacity building, policy or practice development role. 

Example roles: family violence or justice case manager, family violence outreach, refuge worker, counsellor / phone support, crisis worker, men’s behaviour change practitioner or case manager, RAMP Coordinator, intake or enhanced intake, sexual assault worker, family violence court practitioner or family violence court registrar, etc. 

Specialist family violence services

Specialist family violence services provide front line support for those experiencing family violence.   

The Orange Door network

The Orange Door is part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Royal Commission. The Orange Door is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children. 

The Orange Door provides access to a range of family violence and family services in person, or over the phone. To make it easier for people to be safer and supported, The Orange Door brings together workers from specialist family violence services, family services, Aboriginal services and services for men who use violence.  

Unique affected family members

The count of unique affected family members is the number of individuals who were recorded as an affected family member in any given year. Where an affected family member has been involved in incidents across a number of years, they will appear in each year in which they were recorded.  

Victim survivor

Victim survivor refers to adults, children and young people who experience family violence. Under the Family Violence Protection Act, children are considered victim survivors if they experience family violence directed at them or are exposed to the effects of family violence, including being present to or witnessing a family violence incident.