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Disability Counselling and Support

Disability Counselling and Support

We recognise people with disability who have had violence, abuse, neglect and/or exploitation perpetrated against them.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) update:

We are continuing to safely support people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

While the Disability Royal Commission has suspended face-to-face sessions during the COVID-19 period, they are still operating. People can share their story on the phone, in writing or by making an audio or video recording. The Disability Royal Commission recognises that people with disabilities may be disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to a range of factors including underlying health conditions but also because they may not be adequately considered in government and community responses to the virus.

RAV's counselling and support service understands that this is a confusing and anxious time for people with disability, their carers and supporters. We understand that people with disabilities will be more impacted during this time. We are still here for you and able to support you. To find out how we can assist you, or to make an appointment, please see the information below, email us or call 1 800 317 387.


Disability Counselling and Support for people who have had violence, abuse, neglect and/or exploitation perpetrated against them, and those impacted by the Disability Royal Commission

This free service is available to anyone who:

  • identifies as having a disability and has had violence, abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation; perpetrated against them and/or
  • is impacted by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission) including people with disability, family, friends, carers, allies and support workers.

We would like to acknowledge the lived experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples of the Stolen Generations and those who may have been affected by violence, abuse, neglect and/or exploitation. We welcome all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples seeking the support of this service.


What is a disability?

A disability is a total or partial loss of the person’s bodily functions. The functions can be:

  • Physical: Hard to walk or move
  • Sensory: Hard to see or hear or sensory overload
  • Intellectual: Difficult to think or learn
  • Psychological: When emotions are painful and hard to live with


What is the Disability Royal Commission?

The Disability Royal Commission is investigating ways to prevent and protect people with disability from experiences of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Through sharing the stories of people with disability, their families, friends and allies, the Disability Royal Commission will make recommendations about how to improve laws, policies, structures and practices to ensure a more inclusive and just society. The Disability Royal Commission commenced in 2019 and will run until September 2023.


What can we help with?

  • Information about the Disability Royal Commission.
  • Counselling support.
  • Support in deciding whether and how to make a submission, and in writing a submission.
  • Interpreting and translation services, if needed to access our service.
  • Information around the impacts of trauma, and skills and strategies to manage these impacts.
  • Help to access other services such as legal, advocacy, financial, housing, and physical and mental health support, including through warm referrals.


How can I access this service?

Our service can be provided over the telephone, via video-conferencing, or face-to-face at one of our centres across Victoria (where COVIDSafe). Home visits may be possible under exceptional circumstances.


Contact us

Phone: 1 800 317 387 (for the cost of a local call)


Our service is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (except on public holidays and between Christmas and New Year).


Communication assistance

Interpreters are available for languages other than English if required.

If you are Deaf/deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment, we welcome calls through the National Relay Service.

Step 1: Call 133 677

Step 2: Choose your access options. Visit the National Relay Service website for different call numbers.

Step 3: When asked by the relay officer, provide our phone number 1 800 317 387.


For urgent assistance

If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call emergency services on 000 and ask for the Police.

If you need to speak to someone urgently, please call one of the following services:

  • If you are feeling overwhelmed or thinking about self-harm or suicide, call Lifeline Crisis Support on 13 11 14 at any time
  • If you need free, immediate, short-term counselling with a trained mental health professional, call Beyond Blue on 1 300 22 46 36 at any time
  • For information and support, call the Disability Royal Commission National Counselling and Referral service on 1800 421 468 between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

For additional support, view our list of external disability support services.


Relationships Australia Victoria is one of the two organisations in Victoria providing a Counselling and Support Service for People Affected by the Royal Commission. drummond street services is the other organisation.

Send us an enquiry

We are not a crisis service. If you are in immediate danger, call 000 (triple zero). For urgent support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, SuicideLine Victoria on 1300 651 251, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

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