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family violence


Family violence is when a member of your family uses power to coerce, dominate or control another person or group of people in your family. It is not just physical harm, but can also be financial, sexual, emotional, psychological, cultural or spiritual abuse. Often it is a combination of one or more types of abuse.

Family violence can often escalate when a woman makes a decision to leave their partner. 


Growing up in a violent situation harms children’s health, wellbeing and development. Even if children don’t directly see or hear the abuse, they know it’s happening, and they are affected by living in a tense or scary home.

Women who witness family violence as children are twice as likely to become a victim of intimate partner violence when they are older. 

Tired young child - family violence
Woman raising her hand to protect herself


Most family violence is caused by men against women who are their current or former partners. About one in four Australian women have experienced intimate partner violence on at least one occasion.

But family violence covers a wide range of behaviours and can happen to anyone. It may be carried out by siblings, young people, adult children, people in same-sex relationships or extended family members.


Our work is part of our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children.
As well as offering supports for adults, children and young people who are experiencing, or have experienced family violence, we also work with men who have used violence to support them to change abusive and controlling behaviour, always with a focus on the safety and wellbeing of women, children and other family members.

We offer the following supports and programs across the Central Highlands region.

man sitting on the couch looking upset


Cafs was one of the first agencies in Victoria to provide interventions for men who use violence. Our innovative and evidence-based services include:

Men’s Behaviour Change Program: for men who are using violence and controlling behaviour against their current and / or former partners and family. The program delivers regular group sessions and is available to men who have met with an intake practitioner to undergo an assessment prior to commencement.

Men’s Case Management: Individual support for men who use violence and controlling behaviour against their current or former partners, children and other family members.

Men’s Case Management (Housing): Individual support for men who are homeless as a result of using family violence, helping them to secure accommodation and to choose non-violence in their relationships.

Dad’s Tool Kit: A  flexible parenting program where there is no active use of violence present. Offered in a weekly group format  supporting fathers and carers to become better parents and build strong relationships with the child/ren in their lives.


Family Safety Contact: for partners of men who are linked to one of the specialist family violence programs. We provide a risk assessment and safety planning for women, children and impacted family members.

Strengthening Connections: working with adolescents and their families to reduce and prevent adolescent family violence and increase the safety of the whole family. This can be delivered as family, individual or group based support to young people using violence against a parent, carer or sibling. All Strengthening Connections referrals are accepted through The Orange Door.

Mother and child


The Orange Door is an integrated support service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence. It also provides extra support to families who need help with the care of their children.
The Orange Door brings together practitioners from specialist family violence, child and family, Aboriginal and men’s services to provide a coordinated specialist intake & assessment process.
As a partner of The Orange Door, Cafs offers a Men’s Enhanced Intake Program and Child Wellbeing Services. We are proud to be a part of The Orange Door in partnership with other leading family services organisations across the Central Highlands.

To contact The Central Highlands Orange Door, phone 1800 219 819 or visit www.orangedoor.vic.gov.au.

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