This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Family violence practice resources

This page contains information on the VLA family violence practice resources and external resources

VLA resources

Family violence intranet page

What is it? A place where relevant family violence related resources and content is stored and easily available for users.

Who is it for? Lawyers where family violence is a factor in their matter.

Format and length? Intranet page with various sections relating to family violence.

Note: We are in the process of updating the family violence intranet page.

Located here: Family violence resources

What is it? A professional framework to guide and support legal services delivery of high-quality, trauma informed and culturally safe family violence duty lawyer services.

Who is it for? All staff providing services to people using or experiencing family violence

Format and length? A Word document that is 30 pages long with links to available training and other resources.

Located here: Legal Services Best Practice Framework

Duty Lawyer manual for family violence and personal safety intervention order matters

What is it? A comprehensive practical document that outlines and guides the reader to the relevant legislative basis for FVIO’s and PSIO’s for those seeing clients in a family violence duty lawyer context.

Who is it for? Lawyers delivering family violence duty lawyer services.

Format and length? A Word document that is 54 pages long.

Located here: Duty lawyer manual

Duty lawyer guidelines

What is it? VLA’s guidelines as to eligibility for our duty lawyer services.

Who is it for? VLA lawyers

Located here: Duty lawyer guidelines

Note: If you are appearing at Moorabbin, Ballarat, Shepparton, Heidelberg, or Frankston SFVC then the following duty lawyer guidelines will apply: SFVC duty lawyer guidelines

SFVC worker and wellbeing guidelines

What is it? A set of work and wellbeing guidelines to support staff working at SFVC sites to create a safe and supportive working environment for staff servicing the SFVCs.

Who is it for? VLA SFVC lawyers and other client facing staff

Format and length? Seven-page document currently available on request and will be on the website soon.

Client Safety in online hearings resource

What is it? A practical guide to promote client’s safe participation in online hearings for family violence intervention order (FVIO) matters. The guide covers principles for safe client participation in online FVIO proceedings; and a step-by-step guide to help identify and respond to safety risks specific to FVIO matters being heard via the OMC.

Who is it for? This guide should be used by lawyers assisting both protected persons and respondents.

Format and length? 3-page document.

Link: Client safety in online hearings

Pre-Court Engagement/ Early Resolution Service (ERS) guidance note

What is it? A guidance note that has been developed as a suggested guide for how to prioritise service delivery to ERS clients on high-capacity days and ensure that ERS clients are able to access high quality family violence legal services at the earliest available opportunity.

Who is it for? VLA and CLC lawyers and administrative staff

Format and length? 8-page document. Please email us if you would like a copy of the guide.

External resources

Misidentification: A guide for duty lawyers

What is it? A practical guide to assist lawyers in cases where a woman has been wrongly identified as the respondent (or primary aggressor) in Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIOs) in Victoria. Guide developed by Women’s Legal Service.

Who is it for? This guide should be used by duty lawyers assisting both protected persons and respondents.

Format and length? 27-page document

Located here: lp-ps-misidentification-guide-for-duty-lawyers.pdf (sharepoint.com)

Family Violence Bench Book

What is it? A publication by the Judicial College of Victoria which provides helpful commentary for lawyers on the substantive and procedural law aspects of family violence intervention order proceedings.

Who is it for? Lawyers practicing in family violence

Format and length? An online resource with 5 detailed chapters

Link: Family Violence Bench Book (judicialcollege.vic.edu.au)

National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book

What is it? The purpose of the bench book is to provide a central resource for judicial officers considering legal issues relevant to domestic and family violence related cases that will contribute to harmonising the treatment of these cases across jurisdictions along broad principles and may assist them with decision-making and judgment writing. As well as serving as a resource in the judicial decision-making process, this bench book is a publicly available resource that is intended to benefit other legal professionals and service providers who are working with victims and perpetrators of domestic and family violence.

Who is it for? Lawyers practicing in family violence

Format and length? An online resource with 10 detailed chapters

Link: National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book (aija.org.au)

Updated