Language in this report

At its core, family violence is a deeply gendered issue rooted in structural inequalities and an imbalance of power between women and men which is reflected in any gendered language used within this report.

The word family has many different meanings. Within this report, the word family is all encompassing and acknowledges the variety of relationships and structures that can make up a family unit and the range of ways family violence can be experienced, including through family-like or carer relationships as defined in the FVPA.

The term family violence encompasses the wider understanding of the term across all communities, including Aboriginal community understandings of the term.

This report refers to people, including children and young people, who have experienced family violence as victim survivors as guided by members of the Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, who are people with lived experience of family violence. Not every person who has experienced or is experiencing family violence identifies with this term. Family violence is only one part of a victim survivor’s life and does not define who they are. The term is intended to acknowledge the strength and resilience shown by victim survivors who have experienced or currently live with family violence.

This report uses the term perpetrator to describe people who choose to use family violence, acknowledging the preferred term for Aboriginal people and some communities is a person who uses violence. The term perpetrator is not appropriate when referring to adolescents who use family violence and women who use force in defence.

Throughout this document, the term Aboriginal is used to refer to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Awareness of diversity within the Victorian population is increasing as people express multiple forms of identity and belonging. Diverse groups frequently contend with intersectional risks when experiencing family violence. Intersectionality describes how characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or age can interact on multiple levels to create forms of power and social inequality. These social categorisations can form systems of oppression or domination resulting in structural inequalities, barriers or discrimination.

Abbreviations in this report

List of government departments and their prescribed program areas (if relevant)

DET - Department of Education

DHHS - Department of Health and Human Services

  • housing (delivered by DHHS)
  • homelessness services
  • child protection
  • out of home/secure welfare services (care services)
  • child and family services
  • designated mental health services
  • alcohol and other drug services
  • maternal and child health service

DJCS - Department of Justice and Community Safety

  • Victoria Police
  • Corrections
  • Youth Justice
  • Koori Justice Unit
  • Victim Support
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria


  • Attorney-General’s Office
  • Magistrates Court of Victoria
  • Children’s Court of Victoria

FSV - Family Safety Victoria

  • The Orange Door
  • central information point
  • perpetrator treatment programs
  • sexual assault clinics
  • family violence specialist practitioners

Abbreviations commonly used in report

  • AAG - Aboriginal Advisory Group
  • AOD - Alcohol and other drug
  • BCYF - Barwon Child Youth and Family
  • CALD - Culturally and linguistically diverse
  • CAV - Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • CCS - Community Correctional Services
  • CCV - Children’s Court of Victoria
  • CIS Scheme - Child Information Sharing Scheme
  • CRAF - Common Risk Assessment Framework (MARAM predecessor)
  • DVRCV - Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria
  • FCP - Financial Counselling Program
  • FVIS Scheme - Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme
  • FVIU - Family Violence Investigation Unit at Victoria Police
  • FVPA - Family Violence Protection Act
  • FVR - Family Violence Report used by Victoria Police
  • FVRIC - Family Violence Regional Integration Committee
  • ISE - Information Sharing Entities
  • LGBTIQ - Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer communities
  • MARAM - Multi-agency Risk Assessment and Management
  • MCH - Maternal and Child Health
  • MCV - Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

Reviewed 26 February 2020

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