The purpose of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 is to promote safety for people who have experienced family violence, reduce its prevalence, and increase accountability of family violence perpetrators.

The College has developed a Family Violence Bench Book, which provides a detailed explanation of the legislation and the social context of family violence.

The resources on this page complement those in the bench book by:

  • providing a deeper exploration of the complex dynamics of family violence and explanation of coercive control and its significant impacts
  • addressing some of the myths and misconceptions of family violence
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    Family Violence Bench Book

    The Family Violence Bench Book provides a detailed explanation of the legislation and the social context of family violence.
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    What Is Coercive Control?

    Award-winning author Jess Hill explores the impact of coercive control and how it may play out in a hearing.
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    Defining and Responding to Coercive Control

    This policy brief from the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS) sets out how to work with matters involving coercive control.
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    Asking the Questions You Can’t Ask

    Victim survivors speak openly about their experiences, addressing some of the myths and misconceptions about family violence in this episode of the ABC’s panel show You Can’t Ask That.
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Power and Control Wheel

The Power and control wheel identifies specific aspects of the power and control dynamic present in family violence matters.

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Equality Wheel

The Equality wheel helps articulate what a non-violent, equal relationship looks like.

Family violence can be difficult to identify and work with in a way that promotes safety. These resources provide practical information about how family violence may present, how you can assess risk, how to communicate with family violence perpetrators and how you can better understand trauma and counter-intuitive behaviour when it presents in your court or hearing room.

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    Tips for Engaging Men on Their Use of Family Violence

    This tip sheet produced by advocacy group No to Violence sets out how to engage perpetrators without colluding with them.
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    Non-Collusive Language

    Family violence expert Scott Mills explains the do’s and don’ts of communicating with perpetrators.
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    Engaging Men: Invitational-Narrative Approaches

    Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS) conducted the qualitative study Engaging men: Invitational-narrative approaches. Through a research report, podcast, and presentations, it explores how invitational narrative methods help to engage men and enable behavioural and attitudinal change.
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    Understanding trauma and counter-intuitive behaviour.

    Trauma specialist Merrin Wake discusses complex trauma, trauma-informed practice, and how to work with people who are suffering from the impacts of trauma.
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    Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM)

    The MARAM is the central tool used in Victoria for family violence risk assessment. It contains contextual information about family violence, including intersectionality, impacts and risk factors. It provides judicial officers with the information required to make modern and evidence-informed risk assessments in family violence cases.
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    Family Violence Risk Factors

    This document collates the risk factors identified in the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Framework (MARAM) and identifies those which are associated with an increased risk of the victim being killed or almost killed, and those where the evidence base is still emerging.
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There have been significant amendments to the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 since it was first enacted. The following guides assist in understanding these amendments:

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    Family Violence Protection Amendment Act 2017 Guide

    This guide examines the first set of 2017 amendments, which adjusted the obligation to explain the order in court, changed the standard for protecting children who are not applicants, expanded the provisions on alternative service and allowed the use of pre-recorded evidence.
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    Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017 Guide

    This guide explains the implementation of the Family Violence Information Sharing regime from Part 5A of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008.
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    Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 Guide

    This guide explains the Commonwealth changes to the Family Law Act 1975 which affects State-based family violence proceedings. It clarifies the jurisdiction of State courts to exercise family law jurisdiction, simplified the law relating to State courts making interim variations to existing parenting and other orders and adjusted the summary dismissal provisions.
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These checklists set out key steps in the family violence intervention order process, and ensure judicial officers have complied with all legislative requirements.

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    Interim Hearing Checklist

    This checklist provide a step-by-step guide to making interim orders, including mandatory considerations in relation to protecting children.
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    Mention Date Checklist

    This checklist identifies the questions a judicial officer should consider on a mention date, and identifies the need to consider issues of service, substituted service and consent orders.
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    Final Hearing Checklist

    This checklist outlines the matters a court must consider on a final hearing, and the tests which must be satisfied before making a family violence intervention order.
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    Mandatory Considerations Checklist

    This checklist identifies certain mandatory considerations in relation to certain intervention order conditions, including firearms, exclusion, protection of children and inconsistency with other orders.
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    Variations, Revocations and Extensions Checklist

    This checklist provides a step-by-step guide to making variations, revocations and extensions.
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    Prescriptive Requirements and Limitations Checklist

    This checklist identifies preconditions on the exercise of certain powers, or matters that a court must investigate when hearing family violence intervention order proceedings.
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    Risk Indicators of Family Violence for Bail Decision Makers

    This document summarises judicial and academic commentary on factors that show when there is a family violence risk for consideration, as required by Bail Act 1977 s 5AAAA.
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    Victims and witnesses.

    Understanding the diverse experiences, characteristics and needs of victims and witnesses, and reconciling these with legal and professional requirements, can assist in working with victims and witnesses in your courtroom.
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    Victims of Crime in the Courtroom: A Guide for Judicial Officers

    This guide details considerations for judicial officers and court staff to limit re-traumatisation of victims and witnesses, and enhance opportunities for post-traumatic growth, without compromising the integrity of the criminal justice system. It covers the important role that judicial officers, police, prosecution, court staff and defence counsel can play in influencing a victim’s experience of the justice system.
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