BCYF & Bethany have merged! Our two like-minded not-for-profit organisations are now Meli. Learn more

Services for people experiencing family violence

You have a right to be safe

Bethany Community Support helps people and families experiencing family violence to find safety. We also support people who are using violence to make better choices for themselves and their families.


Important Information

If you are experiencing behaviour that doesn’t feel ok, that doesn’t feel safe, or that makes you uncomfortable in any way, contact the Barwon Orange Door on 1800 312 820 during business hours. If you are experiencing family violence and you need help after hours or over the weekend, call Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre toll free on 1800 015 188. In an emergency call 000.

Who it is for

Geelong Region
Women and children
Referral required

Support for women and children

Bethany offers women and children the opportunity to talk to someone about their experience of family violence. Listening without judgement and with respect, we aim to work with women in ways that improve their safety and security and increase their education around the tactics and impacts of family violence.

We support women and children with:

  • making a safety plan
  • having support at court
  • making your home safe (including changing locks and other security measures)
  • seeing a lawyer for advice
  • accessing advocacy services from a support worker
  • counselling for yourself, or for your children
  • referrals to other service providers.

We also offer group programs for women and children, including:


ROAR is a 12-week support group for women survivors of family violence co-designed and reviewed by survivors themselves. ROAR provides a safe, supportive and supportive environment for women with a focus on empowerment, equality and safety. Facilitated by specialist family violence staff, sessions proceed through weekly topics and activities with a narrative focus.


Bethany runs therapeutic groups for children across a range of ages, including:

Full Teen 180, a group for adolescents who have experienced family violence or homelessness. Group participants can connect with peers who have also experienced violence or homelessness and together build their skills and knowledge around healthy relationships.

  • This is a free service
  • For more information contact swcsreferrals@bethany.org.au

Court Support 4 Kids provides engagement, play, company and distraction for children accompanying their mother to the Geelong Magistrates’ Court, as a direct result of their experience of family violence.

  • This is a free service
  • It is available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
  • You do not need a referral or a booking – look out for our staff in the waiting room
  • For more information download this flyer

How to access this service

Call The Orange Door on 1800 312 820 during business hours for a referral to Bethany’s services.

If you are experiencing family violence and you need help after hours or over the weekend, call safe steps Family Violence Response Centre toll free on 1800 015 188.

In an emergency, call 000.

Frequently asked questions

What is family violence?

Family violence is any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour that occurs in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships, including violence:

  • from one partner toward another partner
  • from an adult child toward an elderly parent
  • from one sibling to another
  • between extended family members
  • from an adolescent to a parent
  • from someone providing care to another person in a home environment.
What is violent behaviour?

Violent behaviour can take many forms and includes:

  • physical assault, including punching, hitting, choking, kicking, pushing
  • isolation from family, friends and/or social networks
  • emotional and psychological abuse, including constant criticisms, name-calling, belittling and putdowns
  • one partner making all the decisions and controlling what the other partner does
  • stalking
  • controlling access to money or how it is spent
  • preventing practising of cultural or spiritual beliefs
  • sexual assault
  • making threats
  • harming pets
  • intentionally damaging property and belongings
  • reproductive abuse, including forcing or pressuring you to have unprotected sex, become pregnant or have an abortion
  • image-based abuse, also known as ‘revenge porn’, including taking or sharing nude or sexual images without your consent
Who experiences family violence?

Family violence is prevalent in Australia in all types of intimate relationships. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, culture, religion, income, education, occupation, ability or other circumstances. Family violence affects people from all walks of life.

Family violence is predominantly, but not exclusively, used by men towards women and children. One in 4 women in Australia will experience violence from an intimate partner.

Are these costs involved in this program?

This is a free service. 

Do I need a court order to access this service?

No, you can access our services via the Orange Door at any time.  

Do I have to have left the relationship to receive support?

No, we will support you wherever you’re at. 

Can you go to court with me?

Yes, we can attend court with you as a support person. 

Can you provide support to my children?

Yes, we will support you as well as your children. 

I don’t have anywhere to sleep tonight, can you help?

If you are in crisis please call 1800 825 955. To access emergency housing and support services you must first contact a homelessness access point for assessment and referral”. 

Are you still providing services during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Yes, however face-to-face meetings may be limited or not possible depending on social distancing requirements. Whether we meet in-person, online or over the phone, we will continue to support you during this time. 

How can I make a complaint or provide feedback?

Bethany welcomes all feedback about our services – good or bad. If you are unsatisfied with the service you have received, we encourage you to raise your concerns with your case manager as a first port of call if you feel comfortable doing so. If this isn’t appropriate or you’re still unsatisfied you can make a complaint through our website at www.bethany.org.au or by emailing feedback@bethany.org.au. You can also ask to speak with the Housing Services Team Leader by calling 5278 8122. 

What will Bethany do with my personal information?

We collect your personal information to help us assess your situation and provide you the best possible service. Your information is stored electronically on our secure database and is not shared with anyone else without your consent. 

Further resources

The Orange Door

The Orange Door is a new way to access help and support for women, children and young people who are experiencing family violence; and for families who need support with the care, wellbeing and development of children or young people.

Contact The Orange Door if:

  • Someone close to you is hurting you, controlling you or making you feel afraid, such as your partner, family member, housemate or carer
  • You are struggling to manage your child’s behaviour and you require support to implement parenting strategies
  • You are struggling with parenting due to money issues, family conflict, illness, addiction, grief or isolation
  • You are concerned about the wellbeing of a child or young person
  • You are concerned about the safety of a friend or family member

You are using violence and you want to change your behaviour

Visit orangedoor.vic.gov.au for more information.

More family violence information and resources: 

The Lookout provides information, resources and services aimed at preventing and responding to family violence.

1800 RESPECT is Australia’s national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. Call toll free on 1800 737 732.

Victims Support Agency within the Department of Justice and Community Safety 

Call the Victims of Crime Helpline on 1800 819 817 or text 0427 767 891

Support for LGBTQIA+ people

Free specialist LGBTIQA+ helpline with family violence supports


Victoria Police

Call 000 and ask to speak to a LGBTIQA+ Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO). To get in contact with an LLO, speak to a police officer at your local police station.

Your situation is unique, but you don’t need to struggle alone. We are here to help.