If you are a woman (this includes anyone who identifies as female or transfeminine), have experienced family violence and are involved in current Magistrates or Family Court proceedings, safe steps can connect you with several services designed to emotionally support and protect you.
Family Advocacy and Support Services
The Family Advocacy and Support Services (FASS) is a program that provides legal and social support services to people affected by family violence in the Family Law Registry in Melbourne and Dandenong. The program provides women impacted by family violence with a duty lawyer, who can help you with your legal problem, and a specialist safe steps social worker who can accompany you and ensure you are safe while at court, and offer emotional support.
Accessing Family Advocacy and Support Services
safe steps is able to refer eligible women who use our service directly to the FASS program on a case-by-case basis. To find out more, call safe steps on 1800 015 188 to discuss your current situation and explore appropriate court support options – we recommend doing this well before your court date. It is also possible to request FASS assistance directly at court.
Facing a perpetrator in court can be a psychologically distressing and potentially dangerous experience for family violence survivors.
In partnership with the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Spring Street, safe steps facilitates women to attend their family violence intervention order hearings via video call from a safe location outside of the court environment. This means you will not have to be in the same room or area as the person who perpetrated family violence against you and they will not know your location.
Accessing Remote Witnessing
If you are concerned about attending your Family Violence Intervention Order hearing in person, talk to the Family Violence Registrar at the Melbourne Magistrates Court and they can determine whether remote witnessing by video call through safe steps may be right for you.