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Office for Women

Response Pillar 2: Service and Support Responses

Services and Support Response Actions

Below are the Services and Support Response actions outlined in the Committed to Safety Framework. To see how these are being implemented, view our Action Progress Update.

Short Term Actions

ThemeAction No.Action
Pets - Collaboration with REISA2.1Building on funding we provided to the RSPCA, we will work closely with the REISA to promote the benefits of renting to families with pets. We know that many women stay in violent relationships due to fear of leaving their pets behind, so making the private rental market more pet friendly is crucial.
Pets - Real estate agent training2.2We will explore training and awareness raising activities for real estate agents about domestic and family violence.
Pets - Accommodation2.32.3 In partnership with CBS we will introduce pet bonds to improve the availability of private rental accommodation that permits pets.

Medium Term Actions

ThemeAction No.Action
Early intervention in community settings2.4We will develop a model for improved early intervention for women and their children, using community pathways such as Children’s Centres as well as our new safety hubs.
Perpetrator referral pathway into the Family Safety Framework (FSF)2.5We will work on a perpetrator specific risk assessment and referral pathways into the FSF for those working directly with perpetrators who have no information about their partner/former partner and/or children, but are concerned about the current risk they present to their partner’s and children’s safety.
Perpetrator referral pathway into the Family Safety Framework (FSF)2.6We will seek to strengthen FSF responses to perpetrators and the risk they present to women and children’s safety.
Family Safety Framework responses to children and young people2.7We will seek to strengthen the FSF’s response to children and young people through the release of a new Positive Action Plan template that requires children and young people’s risks, needs and vulnerabilities to be specifically outlined and addressed. We will review the representation of specific children and young people’s services at the Family Safety Meetings and request the addition of representatives from services who have the capacity and ability to respond to their unique needs.
Risk assessment tool2.8We will expand the current risk assessment tool used by government and non-government services to include cohort specific risk factors. We will work towards the use of a common risk assessment tool by service providers across the system to ensure that it is used uniformly by services within the sector.
Safety hubs2.9Potential safety hub models and locations have been considered in consultation with women’s and community services across the state and through feedback from the Chief Executives Group. Safety hub models will be dependent on a range of in situ criteria, such as the strength of partnerships and stakeholder relationships and the availability of services and resources. Safety hubs will provide a single point of contact for women and their children to ensure they can access the support they need, and that interventions and responses are appropriate, resulting in models that may range from early intervention to safety first and crisis responses. Opportunities will also be explored to integrate domestic and family violence services with child protection services, such as the co-location of child wellbeing practitioners at safety hubs, to enable the timely provision of integrated service delivery to families experiencing domestic and family violence while also addressing child protection concerns.
Interest free loans2.10We will develop formal guidelines for the loans, and work through several queries that were raised at the recent roundtables.
24/7 Domestic Violence Crisis Line2.11The South Australian Housing Authority and the Office for Women are working with the operator of the Crisis Line, WSSSA, and 1800RESPECT on updating the crisis line service model to provide seamless 24/7 services, including a redesigned first response to women experiencing domestic and family violence. We will also work with providers to improve the connections between the Crisis Line and 1800RESPECT.
Crisis accommodation – for women escaping violence and perpetrators of violence2.12As well as our $4 million commitment to build additional crisis accommodation facilities in both the metropolitan and regional areas, we will work towards ending the use of motels as temporary accommodation for women experiencing domestic and family violence.
Crisis accommodation – for women escaping violence and perpetrators of violence2.13In addition, we will strengthen our focus on removing perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence from the home and explore a range of alternative accommodation options.
Perpetrator interventions2.14We will implement the South Australian Safe Practice Standards for Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Services and Interventions, to ensure consistency and accountability across services provided to perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence.
Perpetrator interventions2.15We will work with our agencies and non-government agencies to develop and strengthen service responses to perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence through risk assessment and referral capacity.
Safety first responses2.16We will work with key partners to ensure that responses to domestic, family and sexual violence are based on safety first for women, rather than housing or accommodation needs. This work is being informed by a series of forums that were held in partnership by the Office for Women and the South Australian Housing Authority late in 2018.
Domestic violence packages2.17We will consider the efficacy of packages offered to women and their children experiencing violence, based on the Victorian Government’s model that provides financial assistance to women experiencing domestic and family violence for things like rent, furnishings and education.
National tenancy research2.18We have commenced nationwide research into domestic violence and tenancy issues via UniSA, as part of our work in the National Housing and Homelessness Working Group and funded by the Commonwealth Government under the National Plan.
Child protection and domestic violence interface2.19

We will work to actively ensure that our interventions for children living with domestic and family violence occurs earlier, reducing the need for statutory responses. The Office for Women, specialist women’s and community services and the Department for Child Protection are currently discussing how best to achieve holistic service provision and early intervention.

The Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD), the Office for Women, the Department for Child Protection and the Department for Education will work in partnership to develop integrated models of support for vulnerable families to address overlapping child protection and domestic and family violence concerns. A new family safety program model will be trialed via a “try, test, learn” initiative in the Limestone Coast region.

Long Term Actions

ThemeAction No.Action
Data2.20We will work closely with specialist women’s, child protection and community services to ensure that our data collection is the best that it can be. We will explore options for improving our existing databases, and the timely sharing of information. We will also improve the collation and analysis of relevant data so that it provides robust evidence of use to both government and non-government organisations. This work will also include consideration of improvements to multi-agency structures, if and where needed.
Affordable housing pathways2.21We will work with the Commonwealth Government to look at options for increasing the stock of affordable housing in South Australia.
Improved system pathways2.22We will work with specialist women’s domestic violence services to develop pathways through the service system that are consistent and effective, regardless of where a woman might live, what her background is or from which organisation she originally seeks help. These pathways will include sexual assault responses, and service responses for her children.
Awareness raising for health and education professionals in recognising domestic and family violence2.23We know that general practitioners and other front-line health professionals are well placed to identify domestic and family violence. We will work to raise awareness among health professionals about how to best recognise and address domestic, family and sexual violence, and identifying perpetrators and their risk factors. In addition, we will work to raise awareness among professionals in Children’s Centres, preschools and schools, so that teachers, student support services and allied health professionals know how to best recognise and address violence against women and their children, reducing the impact of violence on children and young people in these settings.
Sexual harassment in licensed industries2.242.24 We will consider options to address sexual harassment in key industries under the remit of CBS.

We will seek to support the efforts of the National Workforce Agenda as part of the National Plan, by embedding it in future legislation and supporting the domestic and sexual violence workforce to meet the recommended standards.

We will also work to build capacity in the sector to address existing and emerging areas of need, including trauma informed practice, complex needs of families and the capacity to build strong cross-agency/provider relationships. Capacity will also be built in organisations to respond to changing procurement processes such as commissioning and the development of organisational tools that clearly identify outcomes in service delivery.

Target Actions

Target AudienceAction No.Action
Young people2.26We will develop a practice guide (in alignment with other practice frameworks) to assist frontline workers (including SAPOL) to provide best practice responses for young people.
Young people2.27We will explore early intervention responses for young people engaging in relationships, family or sexual violence in line with perpetrator responses, but focused on modifying attitudes and behaviours to maintain safety and avoid youth justice responses.
Young people2.28We will provide information on the range of existing services to both service providers and young people to improve access and safety
Young people2.29We will work to ensure that service responses are able to meet the diverse needs of young people, particularly those experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence.
Young people2.30We will develop service pathways to improve capacity to respond to young people experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, without engaging the child protection system. This will include co-locating relevant staff from the Department for Child Protection, the Department for Education and domestic violence services to improve referral and support pathways.
Young people2.31We will explore international and national best practice programs for young people who use violence.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people2.32We will examine culturally appropriate service responses, in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, as well as embedding a co-design approach to programs.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people2.33We will work on the development of a culturally appropriate Women’s Safety Contact Program model for remote communities, to ensure that both women and men are engaged with the services that they need.
Women with disabilities2.34We will work with key partners to consult across relevant sectors to ensure service responses to women experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence are appropriate and timely, and that referral pathways are inclusive.
Women with disabilities2.35We will actively work to increase women’s knowledge about their rights by creating accessible information for women with disability about domestic, family and sexual violence, as well as maintaining up to date online resources about support services for women with disabilities and their families.
Culturally and linguistically diverse people2.36We will work to ensure that the concerns of CALD communities are understood and managed by support services, as well as working with tertiary education institutions providing services to international students, specifically young women on temporary visas, to ensure that they are aware of their rights and the supports and services available to them if they are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence.
Culturally and linguistically diverse people2.37We will work to help to ensure that CALD support services for women are culturally appropriate and delivered in safe spaces.
Culturally and linguistically diverse people2.38We will continue to work with faith and community leaders, ensuring that they are able to refer members of their communities to appropriate services.
Culturally and linguistically diverse people2.39We will continue to work on building relationships between problem gambling and specialist women’s domestic violence services, as we know that these issues intersect significantly in a number of CALD communities.
Older women2.40We will examine and assist services to coordinate issues related to elder abuse, homelessness services, employment and reskilling programs.
Older women2.41We will work closely to assist Flinders University, ANROWS, WSSSA and other key partners to ensure that responses to older women affected by domestic, family and sexual violence are improved, based on the recent action plan developed by these organisations.
People living in regional and remote areas2.42We will work with communities and service providers to embed co-design processes in the development of service models to better support rural and remote communities.


Feedback from our roundtables was heavily focused on service responses. This Framework has incorporated the feedback to date, and future roundtables will continue to guide our work.

It is clear that an increased focus on early intervention is required to assist with reducing the need for a crisis response. The service system will be redesigned to enable a focus on families, rather than individuals, to ensure early intervention measures effectively connects them with services capable of meeting their varied and complex needs.

We will also work towards the development of integrated models of support for vulnerable families to address overlapping child protection and domestic and family violence concerns.

We must continue to ensure that there is an ongoing focus on perpetrators as well as survivors in relation to domestic and family violence.

We will also work to ensure that sexual violence is addressed in all its forms, both within and without the context of domestic and family violence.

We will continue to work to improve multiagency structures to ensure holistic responses to domestic, family and sexual violence that include accountability-based services for perpetrators.

We will seek to ensure that services are working together to respond to the needs of the family and kinship system in a way that:

  • acknowledges their unique relationships
  • upholds the safety of women and their children as paramount
  • aims to address the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children in the prevalence of domestic and family violence and the child protection system

Our work will have an ongoing and significant focus on safety first responses, in practice and in policy.

We will also work towards creating a coherent, family focused, integrated, supportive service system that addresses the complex needs of those experiencing or using violence, and embeds a trauma informed approach towards service delivery.


Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service (WDVCAS)

The WDVCAS supports women affected by domestic and family violence applying for intervention orders through the courts system and increases their access to justice. Legal officers provide support and advocate on behalf of women who may have difficulty applying for or varying an intervention order, reporting a breach or applying for a tenancy order. The service is free and confidential and is funded through the Victims of Crime fund.

Women’s Safety Services South Australia (WSSSA) Hub

Led by WSSSA, and supported by government, a hub was established to bring together a range of specialist women’s domestic violence services with key agencies like SAPOL. The hub will be expanded to include Child Wellbeing Practitioners and non-government financial and legal services.

Ask for Angela

In partnership with Consumer and Business Services (CBS) and the Australian Hotels Association, the Office for Women developed an initiative based on the successful Ask for Angela program designed to empower staff to address inappropriate behaviour in licensed venues.

Women’s Safety App

Based on feedback from the first roundtable, we have expanded an existing app, rather than developing something entirely new. We’ve worked closely with SAPOL to make sure the app is easy to use and succeeds in making women safer by improving links to first responders.

Peak Body Funding

In recognition of the vital role played by the Coalition of Women’s Domestic and Aboriginal Family Violence Services, we have provided peak body funding to the Coalition so that they can expand their influential role in the sector.

Page last updated : 09 Oct 2020

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Last Updated:
02 Mar 2021
Printed on:
18 Sep 2021
The Office for Women website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016