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Central Highlands

In Victoria’s Central Highlands, the Integrated Family Violence Services system is represented by the Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee (CHIFVC).

CHIFVC is a cross-sectoral network of family violence and sexual assault support services agencies, statutory bodies (including Victoria Police), and other health, education and community service organisations relevant to the family violence system in the Central Highlands region.

CHIFVC aims to lead and advocate for a strong family violence system for the region, including by:

  • Facilitating the integration and coordination of local services and agencies
  • Identifying, prioritising and responding to issues and opportunities in the current system
  • Driving practice change and innovation, including through Community of Practice forums
  • Influencing positive change in attitudes inside and outside the system through raising awareness and understanding of the complexity of family violence within the community.

The CHIFVC is supported by a Principal Strategic Advisor (PSA) and a Project Support Officer.


(03) 5322 4100

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Domestic violence outreach workers provide support to women and children who are experiencing or escaping from domestic violence. Domestic violence outreach workers can provide secondary consultation and information and some are involved in community education and Primary Prevention programs.

 Outreach workers support victims/survivors of domestic violence by:

  • working with women to develop safety plans to enhance the safety of themselves and their children
  • providing information on options and resources, referral to other services, and case management support. Support may involve advocacy with Centrelink, court support, referral to other services (Office of Housing or a Front Door), counselling and financial counselling.

Horsham (Grampians CH) - 03 5362 1200

Ballarat (WRISC FV Support Services) - 5333 3666

Ballarat (Berry Street FV Crisis Support 24/7) - 5331 3558

Stawell (Grampians CH) - 5358 7400

Ararat (Grampians CH) - 5352 6200


Multiple locations in Grampians area

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Safe steps:

  • Provides telephone crisis counselling, referral, information and support
  • Is the central contact point for women’s Refuges in Victoria
  • If there are no vacancies in Victorian Refuges, safe steps will assist a woman to explore and secure safe alternative interim accommodation options until a Refuge vacancy is available
  • Agencies can ring for information about the service
  • Provides information and referral to the Victorian Disability and Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative
  • Provide 24-hour access to interpreters as well as support for Indigenous women

Please Note: the crisis line can be busy and there may be a wait before a caller speaks directly to a support worker.


1800 015 188 - Toll Free 24 hours 7 days a week

(03) 9928 9600

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The goal of Child & Family Services Ballarat (CAFS) is to give every individual the optimal opportunity to live in a safe and nurturing family.

They work with:

  • Children & young people
  • Families
  • Men
  • Communities

CAFS' key service areas are:

  • Family and Early Childhood Services
  • Out of Home Care and Support Services
  • Homelessness Assistance and Community Services
  • Family Violence Intervention and Family Support Programs

(03) 5337 3333 (Ballarat)

(03) 5352 2910 (Ararat)

03) 5348 8200 (Daylesford)

(03) 5367 9900 (Bacchus Marsh)


Offices in Ballarat, Ararat, Daylesford and Bacchus Marsh

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VALS provides free legal advice and representation for the Koorie community.

The services VALS provides are as follows:

  • Information, initial legal advice, minor assistance and referral;
  • Duty lawyer assistance;
  • Legal casework services including representation and assistance, covering Criminal Law, Civil Law and Family Law matters.

Each of the VALS’ offices can provide basic legal information.

Initial Legal Advice

Initial legal advice is the provision of legal advice or information that is not provided as part of duty lawyer work or casework. It includes referrals, preliminary assistance, the writing of short letters and completion of forms.

Minor assistance

Minor assistance is helping with phone calls or letters and advocacy in dealing with other services.


A VALS’ staff member will use his or her professional judgement in making an appropriate referral having reference to the lists of appropriate sources of referral and assistance maintained by VALS.

Duty Lawyer assistance

Duty Lawyers provide advice and/or representation in urgent matters to people who have not been able to arrange legal representation. For instance, all applications (i.e. for bail or adjournments) are performed on a Duty Lawyer basis where the matter is completed in one day. A matter not completed on the same day is called a Casework matter.

Legal Casework

Legal Casework is legal representation and assistance, covering criminal, civil and family law matters. It is matters where VALS provides ongoing legal services (i.e. assistance continues after the first day of contact) to a client in relation to a particular legal problem.


(03) 9418 5999

Toll free: 1800 064 865

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An application for an intervention order can be made under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 where there is a family relationship or a person is or has been involved in a relationship.

The purpose of a family violence intervention order is to:

  • ensure the safety of the affected family member; or
  • preserve any property of the affected family member; or
  • protect a child who has been subjected to family violence committed by the respondent.
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There are 16 CASAs throughout Victoria, including the Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line (after hours telephone service).

CASAs work to ensure that women, children and men who are victim/survivors of sexual assault have access to comprehensive, timely support and intervention to address their needs. CASAs also work towards the elimination of sexual violence through community and professional education, informing government policy, advocating for law reform and facilitating research to increase community understanding of the nature and incidence of sexual assault.

Integral to the philosophy of services and programs provided by CASAs is the right of the victim/survivor to be believed and treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity.

When you contact a Centre Against Sexual Assault you will:

  • Be believed;
  • Be treated with respect, sensitivity and understanding;
  • Be informed of your rights;
  • Get information;
  • Be in control of your decision making;
  • Have privacy and confidentiality.

When the sexual assault occurs within the last two weeks, you can be assisted by the Sexual Assault Crisis Line Your options are:

  • Telephone counselling
  • Face-to-face counselling
  • Medical examination
  • Police statement.

You can have a friend or relative with you to support you.

Sexual Assault over two weeks ago. Your options are:

  • Telephone counselling
  • Face-to-face counselling
  • Police statement.

You can have a friend or relative to support you.

Why see a counsellor?

  • You can talk about the sexual assault.
  • You can talk about the impact of the sexual abuse, e.g. nightmares, flashbacks, relationship difficulties.
  • You can explore your legal and compensation options.
  • The counsellor can assist you in talking to partners, family members, partner or friends.



Sexual Assault Crisis Line (Victoria) 1800 806 292

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Court Network is a unique non-legal court support, information and referral service operating throughout Victoria and Queensland. Court Network is the only court based service explicitly and solely concerned with the need of court users.
Information, support and referral services assisting:

  •  Victims of crime
  •  People accused of crime
  •  Families, adults and children who attend court and require support
  •  Adults and children who have been violated or exploited by crime
  •  Litigants who have little or no support

Court Network Volunteers can:

  •  Provide support and information about going to court
  •  Be with you in person on your day in court
  •  Explain how the courts and legal systems operate (in person or by telephone)
  •  Show you around the court beforehand, so you can become familiar with where you have to go on the day of your court case
  •  Provide you with a safe place in court
  •  Refer you to other community services that can help you

Court Network operates in the following courts and tribunals:

  •  Melbourne Supreme Court
  •  County Court
  •  Coroners Court
  •  Family Court
  •  Children's Court
  •  Melbourne and District Magistrates' Courts
  •  Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
  •  Regional Courts of Gippsland, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Echuca, Warrnambool, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton



1800 681 614

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Central Highlands Family & Domestic Violence Service provides a specialist family violence response during business hours to women & children who have experienced family violence in the Ballarat area.

In addition, Berry Street Ballarat provides a 24 hours crisis support across 11 LGA’s West Wimmera, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Yarriambiack, Northern Grampians, Ararat, Pyrenees, Hepburn, Moorabool, Golden Plains & Ballarat to women and children who have experienced family violence and or are at risk due to family & domestic violence.

Berry Street Ballarat receives and provides a response to all police referrals related to women from five LGA’s – Ballarat, Golden Plains, Moorabool, Pyrenees and Hepburn.

Berry Street Ballarat has a telephone intake service 9am-5pm which routinely conducts risk assessment safety planning, provides information, advocacy and referral to refuge accommodation, legal advice and counselling options. The program has some funding for private rental assistance, NILS (No Interest Loans) assessments and case management. The family violence program provides co-ordination for the Strengthening Risk Management (SRM) Program which is led by Victorian Police. Our program also provides court support to women at the Ballarat Magistrates court. 

Our program has established relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs and welcomes working with women and children from ATSI communities. Our program supports women and children from culturally & linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and we routinely use interpreters. Berry Street attempts to ensure our service is accessible to women and children with disabilities.

Berry Street family violence programs are informed by a human rights & feminist principles and draw from trauma-informed, strength-based, child aware practices. Our program recognises that family violence can undermine the attachment relationship between mother and child, and in our work attempt to affirm and rebuild mothers’ parenting strengths. Berry Street has an equal opportunity exemption to employ all women staff.

See the Berry Street Family Violence website for more information & flyers


03 5331 3558


23 Wetlands Drive, Mount Helen, 3350

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WRISC provides support, advocacy, court support, housing support and case management services for women and children experiencing family and domestic violence across the Central Highlands region of Victoria.

Their service is free and confidential.

WRISC welcomes women and children from all cultures and backgrounds and women in all relationships, including women from same sex relationships, transgender or intersex women.

WRISC's programs include:

  1. Family Violence Outreach Program
  2. Aboriginal Family Violence Program
  3. Children’s Counselling
  4. Van Go Moorabool: art, music and play therapy for children

WRISC provides services to women and children in the five local government areas of:

  • Ballarat
  • Pyrenees
  • Hepburn
  • Moorabool
  • Golden Plains

WRISC runs support groups for women, art therapy groups for children and an Aboriginal girls’ group.

Van Go Moorabool

Van Go Moorabool is a pilot project in the Bacchus Marsh/Moorabool area that brings art, music and play therapy to children who are experiencing family violence.

Van Go Moorabool can be contacted at:
Phone:  0457 536 906
Address: Moorabool Shire Council Children’s Hub, 182 Halletts Way, Darley, 3340


(03) 5333 3666

0457 536 906 (Van Go Moorabool)


205 Dana Street Ballarat

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