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The City of Casey aims to be a family-friendly city where women and children feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods. We want our community to live free from violence.
If you are in danger call 000 for police or ambulance.
If you are experiencing family violence or are concerned for another person’s safety, there is help available.
- 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732 – 24-hour family violence and sexual assault help
- WAYSS: 9791 6111, after hours 1800 627 727 – provides housing help
- SECASA: 9928 8741 – Sexual assault and family violence help
- Safe Steps: 1800 015 188 – 24-hour family violence help
- Ask Someone – support in south-east Melbourne
- Mensline: 1300 789 978 – Supports men and boys who are dealing with family and relationship difficulties
- Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491 – support for men who use family violence
- With Respect: 1800 542 847 – LGBTQI service
- Djirra: 1800 105 303 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Service
If you need other support during the COVID-19 pandemic, like food or financial relief, the Casey website has a list of services to help you.
What is family violence?
Family violence can be many things:
- Domestic violence
- Relationship violence
- Intimate partner violence
- Child abuse
It is a pattern of abusive behaviour through which a person seeks to control and dominate another person.
Domestic violence is ongoing behaviour that undermines the victim’s confidence. Victims may feel like they cannot leave the violent person. The severity and frequency of violence often get worse over time.
Domestic violence can be:
Examples of domestic violence:
- isolating a victim from family and friends
- controlling a person’s access to money
- lowering someone’s self-esteem
- preventing a person from practising spiritual beliefs
- intimidating a person and threatening them
You can find more information at the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria website.
Family violence and gender equality
Gender equality is where women and men have equal social status, power, resources and opportunities. Where all voices, ideas and work are valued equally by society.
Gender inequality is a key factor for violence against women. This bias exists at many levels in our society, like:
- how we view men and women
- economic factors like the pay gap between men and women
- family and relationship roles and expectations
Casey has the highest number of family violence incidents across Victoria. Gender inequality in public and private life is the underlying driver.
Research from Our Watch shows that there are four distinct, yet connected expressions of gender inequality that can lead to violence:
1. Tolerating violence against women
- justifying, minimising or excusing violence
- victim blaming
- “Men can’t control their urges” “She was asking for it” “I was stressed”
2. Men’s control of decision-making
- limiting women’s independence in public life and relationships
- lack of representation in formal decision-making bodies
- financial dependence on the male breadwinner
- “You don’t work, I do, so it’s my money, not yours”
3. Rigid gender roles and stereotyped views of masculinity and femininity
- “I need to be the man and support my family”, “I can’t show them my tears”, “I have to cook and clean and take care of the kids and try and find a new job”
4. Male friendships that emphasise aggression
- disrespecting or objectifying women
Casey has a longstanding commitment to gender equality and the prevention of family violence. Council is a signatory to the Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter.
We recognise that opportunities and access are not equally given throughout society. Council addresses this by creating fairer systems for its staff and the community. We want to empower our residents.
Local government plays a key role in achieving gender equality and preventing family violence. It is now a legal responsibility under the Gender Equality Act 2020. The Act requires all Victorian councils to promote gender equality in the workplace and community.
Our Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2018-2021 outlines Council initiatives to prevent family violence in Casey.
Council's Gender Equality Action Plan 2018-2021 aims to promote gender equality and prevent family violence within the workplace and the community. It aims to do this through the design and delivery of Council programs and services. The Plan follows:
Council also supports preventing family violence and promoting gender equality by:
- Employing dedicated Gender Equality and Prevention of Family Violence Officers
- Providing training and support to the community
- Partnering with community service groups to support important work happening within Casey
Council’s Family Violence Domestic Pets Assistance Program offers to temporarily care for the domestic pets of those leaving a situation of family violence for up to 14 days. It is hoped that this time will provide pet owners with the space they need to find safe, longer-term accommodation.
To access this program, pet owners can request their support agency contact Council on 9705 5200 to request an admittance form.