Family Violence in our Community

Unfortunately, Benalla Rural City has one of the highest incidences of Family Violence per 100,000 population in Victoria. You can see how we measure up against other local government areas on the Crime Statistics website.

Despite these statistics, we know that family violence continues to be one of the least recognised and reported crimes.

The Council is highly supportive of initiatives that support the prevention of family violence. 

Many agencies within our community aim to stop family violence and create a safer Benalla Rural City for all. The Benalla Family Violence Network is a united group of agencies that work together to reduce family violence.

What is family violence?

Physical and sexual violence often make up the majority of reported incidences of family violence. However, family violence goes beyond physical or sexual abuse.

Family violence includes:

  • Denying financial autonomy
  • Preventing social, family or cultural connections
  • Stalking
  • Taunting
  • Damaging property
  • Hurting pets
  • Depriving someone of their freedom

The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women uses this definition:

’The term violence against women means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’


Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can access the confidential service for information, referral or counselling at any time.

1800RESPECT is funded by the Australian Government. It provides support for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing sexual assault, domestic or family violence, as well as their friends, families and support service professionals.

The service provides:

  • Information on sexual assault, domestic and family violence, abuse, and other issues.
  • Referrals to put people in touch with services that may help.
  • Counselling for those who would like to talk to someone.

Call 1800 737 732 to speak to someone on the phone or go to where you can find more information or chat online.

In an emergency always call Triple Zero (000).

More information

Centre Against Violence


Crime Statistics Victoria - including Benalla Rural City's statistics