News & Views

What to do if you are assaulted or OC sprayed by police in Victoria

If you are affected by OC spray* or assaulted by police at a protest in Victoria:

  • Take a photo of your injuries, or ask someone else to, as soon as possible.
  • See a doctor to have your injuries documented and treated.
  • When you are safe, write down everything you can recall. Even a few short lines about what happened will be useful—e.g. what was happening before the spraying, describe the police and record their name and ID numbers if you have them, contact details of any witnesses, etc. Keep this information safe so you can provide it to a lawyer later.

You could also:

Working together keeps us safe:

  • Talk. If others people have been sprayed or assaulted by police, talk through your experiences together to support each other.
  • Consider approaching a lawyer together.
  • Support: Reach out to your activist group to support you as well.

Note: Legal information for Victoria only, April 2024

*OC spray: oleoresin capsicum spray (also known as pepper spray)

Download this information as an A5 flyer (PDF)

This handy OC Spray Legal Info flyer also contains information about OC spray aftercare provided by Naarm Frontline Medics (NFM)- contact them here.

Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS)

is an independent volunteer group of lawyers, human rights advocates, law students and para-legals. MALS trains and fields Legal Observer Teams at protest events, provides training and advice to activist groups on legal support structures, and develops and distributes legal resources for social movements. MALS works in conjunction with law firms, community legal centres, and a range of local, national, and international human rights agencies. We stand up for civil and political rights.

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