Family violence is a serious health issue that affects people across the lifespan. Northern Health recognises that hospitals and health services have a vital role in identifying and responding to family violence.

Family violence is a behaviour by a person towards a family member that:

  • Is physically or sexually abusive
  • Is emotionally or psychologically abusive
  • Is economically abusive
  • Is threatening or coercive or dominating
  • Causes fear

This definition also includes behaviours that cause a child to witness or hear or otherwise be exposed to the effects of family violence.

Research tells us that the incidence and severity of family violence escalates during natural disasters or periods of emergency. We are aware of this risk during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage people experiencing family violence to access the available support services.

If you’re in an emergency or at immediate risk, please call triple zero (000)

Safe Steps (link to website)Family violence response centre is Victoria’s state wide first response service for women, young people and children experiencing family violence – 24 hours a day 7 days per week. Sexual Assault Crisis Line (link to website)The Sexual Assault Crisis Line (SACL) is a state wide, after hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for people who have experienced both past or recent sexual assault.
1800 RESPECT (link to website)The national sexual assault and family violence counselling service – 24 hours a day 7 days per week. MensLine Australia (link to website)MensLine offers free professional online counselling support for men with concerns about family violence (using and experiencing), mental health, addiction, relationship, stress and wellbeing – 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme (FVISS) and Child Information Sharing Scheme (CISS) Requests

Requests for the release of information pertaining to the FVISS or CISS Schemes must be done so by an authorised Information Sharing Entity (ISE) and/or Risk Assessment Entity (RAE).  The requesting authorised person/organisation will be verified prior to the release of any information.

To request information or to voluntarily share information under these schemes please complete this document and email

Please note that a request can take up to two business days to process.  If the matter is urgent and relating to a current patient please contact the treating team on 8405 8000.

For further enquiries regarding information sharing requests contact our Release of Information Department ph: 8405 8180.

For more information regarding the FVISS and CISS Schemes please refer to links below: