The safe steps response phone line connects women (this includes anyone who identifies as female or transfeminine) and their children with specialist support workers who can help them explore their options, develop a safety plan and access supports that allow them to live safe from family violence.
safe steps phone support workers can also offer information and assistance to individuals concerned someone they know is experiencing family violence.
To talk to a safe steps support worker, call 1800 015 188. The safe steps phone line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year including public holidays.
If you have been threatened or you are fearful for yourself, a child or family member – call 000 Emergency or Police.
Steps towards safety
When you call the safe steps phone line, you will be connected with a specialist family violence support worker. The support worker’s job is to try to understand your situation, explore your options, work with you to develop a plan to ensure the immediate safety of you and your children, and, if needed, connect you with supports to help you live free from violence.
Our specialist family violence support workers use a three step process to do this.
Step 1: Understand your situation
When you first call safe steps, the support worker you speak to will ask you to talk about what you are experiencing and what has lead you to call. They may ask you specific questions like ‘has the person harmed or threatened to harm you?’ or ‘have they even used a weapon against you?’. During this conversation the support worker will be trying to…
- Understand your situation
- Understand the level of risk you are currently experiencing – are you in immediate danger? Or are you somewhere safe?
If the support worker understands that you require a more in-depth conversation they will schedule a call back.
Step 2: Conduct a risk assessment and develop a safety plan
In this second call, the support worker will talk to you in more depth about your experience and how safe you feel. This call can take from 30-90 mins, depending on your needs.
Once the support worker understands your situation and knows what you want to do, they will work with you to explore your options and create a safety plan. A safety plan is a personalised practical plan that can help you avoid danger or know the safest way to react if you do find yourself in danger.
Step 3: Organise next steps
Whether you are looking to leave the relationship or stay, you will likely need further practical and emotional support. At the end of the second call, the support worker can help you explore your options and, once you have identified what action you would like to take, assist you in a range of ways. This may include:
- Helping you with emergency accommodation for you and your children, and your pets
- Providing you with basic material needs like clothes, food and shopping vouchers
- Providing you with transport assistance
- Helping you to apply for an intervention order or Centrelink support
- Arranging for the installation of protective measures like home alarms, security doors and new locks
- Connecting you with legal services, real estate agents, movers and other service providers
- Connecting you with trauma counsellors
- Linking you with family violence outreach services in your area for ongoing support
Depending on your needs, a safe steps support worker may assist you with next steps during one phone session or multiple sessions over a period of several days.
For non-English speakers
If you or someone you care about is experiencing family violence and speaks limited or no English, safe steps can help. We have a number of multi-lingual staff or we can arrange for a telephone interpreter to translate calls.
All you need to do is call us and tell us:
- Your phone number
- Your language
- When it is safe to call
A bi-lingual staff member or interpreter will then call you back.
If a woman you know is unable to speak English to give us this information, you can call for them to help arrange a follow-up telephone call.