A Resource for Workers Supporting Victim Survivors of
Family Violence through the Legal System (2018)

Knowledge to Advocate provides workers with key information about the Victorian legal system including Victoria Police processes, Intervention Orders, legal support and Magistrates’ Court processes. The resource provides advice about how workers can support and advocate for victim survivors through the legal process.

The information provided is based on the expertise of service providers in the northern metropolitan region.

It may be used as a tool for learning and self-reflection, or to support supervision or team development.


The resource includes four chapters about different aspects of the Victoria legal system. Each chapter includes a video, links to further resources and a Q&A that expands on the material in the Knowledge to Advocate video.

View the whole video or access individual Chapters below.


One – Legal Service System

Two – Victoria Police Response

Three – Intervention Orders & Legal Support

Four – Magistrates’ Court


Find the infographics referred to in the video:


This resource was developed for any worker who supports victim survivors of family violence through the legal service system. This may include specialist family violence workers but also workers from mainstream services. This resource is particularly useful for inducting new workers.


The material in this film is intended as a general guide only. Workers should not use this resource to provide legal advice. Women’s Health In the North expressly disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in relation to the contents of this resource.

Notes on terminology

Victim survivor – In this resource this term refers to victim survivor of family violence

Affected Family Member (AFM) – The person who a Family Violence Intervention Order aims to protect.

Applicant – The person applying an Intervention Order

Breach – Breach of an Intervention Order

Family Violence Intervention Order (IVO) – A court issued order that protects a person from a family member who uses violence and has conditions about how the respondent can behave.

Family Violence Safety Notice (FVSN) – Victoria Police can apply for a family violence safety notice before an intervention order application is heard in court.

Respondent – The person named in an Intervention Order who has used family violence.


This resource was developed in collaboration with stakeholders in the northern metropolitan region. It was first informed by contributions made at the What She Needs to Know: Supporting victim survivors of family violence through the legal system forum in November 2017.

Video Interviews We would like to acknowledge the following people for sharing their expertise in the video interviews. Brad Turney (Victoria Police), Carmel Ross (Victoria Police), Ella Crotty (Fitzroy Legal Service), Kelly Faldon (Djirra), Maree Foelz (Neighbourhood Justice Centre) and Megan Ross (Djirra).

Q&As We would also like to acknowledge the following people for their important input into the Q&As: Courtney Lucanto (Magistrates’ Court of Victoria), Ella Crotty (Fitzroy Legal Service), Franky Bain (Fitzroy Legal Service), Maree Foelz (Neighbourhood Justice Centre), Marissa Johnpillai (West Heidelberg Community Legal Service) and Sharon Matheson (Victoria Police).