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Office for Women

Safety and wellbeing

Women experience violence in public places, at work and at home. As part of its commitment to a safer community, the South Australian Government believes that we need a more strategic and comprehensive approach to violence against women, to make the best use of resources and to guide our future action.

Committed to Safety

Committed to Safety

Committed to Safety: A framework for addressing domestic, family and sexual violence in South Australia (CTS) is a policy framework which provides a clear and considered plan for action in relation to preventing domestic, family and sexual violence.

CTS features three pillars of response:

  • Primary Prevention
  • Service and Support
  • Justice (Legislative, Statutory and Community)

It is underpinned by two ‘enablers’:

  • Data & Evidence Base
  • Evaluation & Monitoring our Impact

Importantly, CTS is an action-driven document. CTS actions cover all three pillars, and many focus on specific population groups (children/youth, Aboriginal people, women with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse people, older women, and regional and remote people). The actions are broken down into short, medium and long term, though the population specific actions have not been allocated time frames as many of these will require significant engagement with, and the involvement of non-government organisations.

CTS is available as a PDF download. Click here to access the Committed to Safety framework (PDF 1.1 MB)

Community Education

Community Education

'Our Watch'

Our Watch is a national initiative to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that underpin and create violence against women and children.

Our Watch's focus is on four key areas:

  • maintaining constructive public conversations;
  • delivering evidence-based prevention programs;
  • working with existing organisations, networks and communities to embed prevention practices; and
  • influencing public policy and institutions.

www.ourwatch.org.au provides information on what YOU can do as well as information and resources on preventing violence against women and children.

'The Line'

The Line is a national youth campaign aimed at addressing the attitudes and behaviours that contribute to violence. In any relationship, there are things that are black and white and there are grey areas. The Line helps young people navigate those grey areas, so they can enjoy healthy and respectful relationships and recognise behaviour that 'crosses the line'.

The Line is an initiative under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

'Let's Stop it at the Start'

Let's Stop it at the Start is the National Campaign to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children. The Campaign was developed jointly by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments as a key action of the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010 - 2022.

www.respect.gov.au provides information on how to start the conversation about respectful behaviour toward women and girls and how to help to end the cycle of violence.

Coroner's research position

Coroner's research position

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people — please be aware this website may contain names, images and voices of deceased persons.

In Australia (to date) there are domestic violence (DV) death review processes embedded within Coronial jurisdictions and subsequent legislation in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory. In all jurisdictions, except New South Wales, open Coronial cases involving domestic violence deaths are in scope of the reviews. In Western Australia these reviews are conducted through the Office of the Ombudsman. Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory are currently developing strategies to have formal DV death review processes in place.

The Office for Women and the SA Coroner's Court has established a partnership to research and investigate domestic violence related deaths. The position of Senior Research Officer (Domestic Violence) has been in place since January 2011.

This position is based within the South Australian Coroner's Office and works as part of the Coronial investigation team to:

  • Identify deaths with a domestic violence context, to assist in the investigation of the adequacy of system responses and/or inter-agency approaches which may assist in the prevention of deaths which occur within that context.
  • Review files, provide interim reports and have specific input into Coronial Inquests which relate to domestic violence.
  • Develop data collection systems which can provide advice to Coronial processes and identify demographic or service trends, gaps or improvements more broadly.
  • Conduct specific retrospective research projects relevant to building Domestic violence death review evidence base.

The scope of the review includes single fatality homicide, single fatality suicides and multiple fatality (e.g. homicide-suicide) incidents where there is a context of domestic or family violence. An investigation framework underpins the process of information gathering and decision making in the progression of coronial investigations.

Outcomes

The review of deaths with a domestic violence context is an ongoing process, however, it should be noted that not all reviews result in a Coronial Inquest. To date over 220 reviews have been conducted and there have been eight Coronial Inquests with a domestic violence context. To date, coronial findings and 43 recommendations relating to domestic violence systems improvement have been released for the following eight Inquests:

Research

The Coronial Domestic Violence Information System (CDVIS) has been operational since May 2015. The CDVIS incorporates over 120 different perpetrator and victim-specific variables and provides the capacity to record data and track trends. The unique nature of the data housed in the CDVIS will support evidence-based decision making in policies and programs to reduce violence against women and their children.

Preliminary prevalence data from the CDVIS is reported in the South Australian State Coroners’ 2015–16 Annual Report, as tabled in South Australian Parliament.

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network Data Report 2018

The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Network was established in 2011 as an initiative of state and territory death review processes, and is endorsed by all state and territory Coroners and the Western Australian Ombudsman. The Network’s goals include producing national data concerning domestic and family violence related homicides in accordance with the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2009-2021. With this work the Network seeks to contribute to the formation of evidence-based policy and decision making in relation to domestic and family violence, enhancing opportunities for prevention and intervention and contributing to the enhanced safety of women and their children across Australia.

The Network published its first report in 2018.

Relevant South Australian legislation

More information on the Coroner's Court

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

South Australia's Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) provides an avenue for a person who may be at risk of domestic violence to get information about their partner or former partner, to help make decisions about their safety and the future of the relationship.

A request for information can be made by either:

  • the person who is feeling unsafe in their relationship or about their former partner, or
  • a person concerned about the welfare of someone they know.

Click here for further information and making an application on the SA Police website.

The  DVDS is an early intervention and prevention initiative. It is not an emergency response service.

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.

Dial 131 444 for non-urgent police assistance.

Domestic Violence Roundtable Reports

Domestic Violence Roundtable Reports

One of the Government’s election commitments related to holding a Domestic Violence Roundtable during the first thirty days of the term. This was done, and Government has gone on to hold a series of regional Roundtables.

The Roundtables have allowed Government to hear directly from not only the specialist women’s sector, but broader community services as well.

That feedback has shaped the actions that make up the Government’s key violence against women policy framework, Committed to Safety: A Framework for Addressing Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence (Committed to Safety (PDF 1.1 MB)).

Following each Roundtable, a survey was sent to attendees, summarising the key themes and issues, to ensure that what was heard was accurate. Once the surveys were done, reports were produced for each location, outlining what had been discussed in further detail.

These are the reports which are currently available:

Family Safety Framework

Family Safety Framework

What is the Family Safety Framework?

The Family Safety Framework (FSF) was developed under the auspice of the South Australian Government's Women's Safety Strategy and Keeping Them Safe - Child Protection Agenda, to drive improved, integrated service responses to violence against women and children in South Australia.

The FSF seeks to ensure that services to families most at risk of violence are provided in a more structured and systematic way, through agencies sharing information about high risk families and taking responsibility for supporting these families to navigate the system of services to help them.

Information about people at serious risk of violence is shared between agencies in accordance with the Information Sharing Guidelines for promoting safety and wellbeing.

The statewide implementation of the Family Safety Framework was completed in November 2013.

Who is involved?

The FSF is underpinned by an agreement across Departments and Agencies for a consistent understanding and approach to domestic and family violence that has a focus on women's and children's safety and the accountability of perpetrators.

The core agencies involved are:

  • South Australia Police
  • Department for Child Protection
  • Housing SA – Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
  • Department for Correctional Services
  • Health Services (inc community, women's health, Aboriginal health, midwifery, nursing and hospital staff)
  • Adult Mental Health Services
  • Drug and Alcohol Services SA
  • Department for Education and Child Development
  • Women's Domestic Violence Services (NGO)
  • Victim Support Service (NGO)

Where are Family Safety Meetings held?

Family Safety Meetings are held regularly (usually fortnightly) in 17 police local service areas in South Australia. These are:

Northern District, Southern District, Eastern District and Western District, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Limestone Coast, Berri [Riverland], Murray Bridge, Port Lincoln, Coober Pedy, Gawler Barossa, Adelaide Hills, APY Lands, Ceduna, Whyalla & Fleurieu/Kangaroo Island.

The Family Safety Framework Practice Manual is currently being reviewed. If you would like a copy of the previous version please contact the Office for Women.

Making a Family Safety Framework referral

Family Safety Meetings are chaired by South Australia Police (SAPOL).

To make a referral to your local Family Safety Meeting the relevant worker needs to take the following steps:

  1. complete a risk assessment form
  2. complete a FSF referral form
  3. contact the SAPOL Chair of the relevant meeting
  4. discuss the referral with the SAPOL Chair
  5. if agreed with the SAPOL Chair, forward all the forms to SAPOL

To make a referral in the metropolitan area contact the relevant SAPOL Family Violence Investigation Section (FVIS), a list of FVIS contact details is available at www.police.sa.gov.au/your-safety/domestic-violence

To make a referral in country locations contact your local police station. To find your local police station and its contact details visit www.police.sa.gov.au/contact-us/find-your-local-police-station

Family Safety Framework/ Risk Assessment training

As per the across government FSF Agreement, Government Departments are responsible for providing their own training to staff on using the FSF.

Occasionally, the Office for Women organises additional FSF training sessions. These sessions will be listed below when available.

Resources for Service Providers

Family Safety Framework forms and supporting documents for service providers involved in the Framework are also available:

Evaluation

An evaluation of the Family Safety Framework trials was conducted by the Office of Crime Statistics and Research (AGD) in late 2008 - FSF Evaluation Final Report (PDF 651.7 KB)

Further information

If you need further information about the Family Safety Framework, email officeforwomen@dcsi.sa.gov.au

Law Reform

Law Reform

New South Australian domestic violence laws come into effect

As of January 2019 new laws targeting the perpetrators of domestic violence have come into effect, giving authorities stronger tools to tackle repeat and serious offenders. A new stand-alone criminal offence of strangulation will come into force as well as tougher penalties for repeated breaches of intervention orders.

Read more about these new domestic violence laws here.

Rape and sexual assault

In 2008 Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 and Evidence Act 1929 were amended to:

  • Provide a clearer definition of sexual offences, including rape; persistent sexual abuse of a child; and consent;
  • amend judicial warnings in relation to children's evidence; and
  • provide special arrangements for vulnerable witness's, protection of witness's, and provides the courts with the ability to audio record evidence, and include evidence taken in earlier proceedings.

Domestic violence

Legislation was passed in Parliament in 2009 to give police and courts greater powers to prevent and address domestic abuse. The Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 protects people from abuse by restricting what the perpetrator does as well as by requiring the perpetrator to work towards rehabilitationFor more information about Intervention Orders visit the Legal Services Commission of South Australia website.

On 10 December 2015 changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 came into effect. These changes provide greater protections to victims of domestic violence who rent their homes. More information about the changes can be found on the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) website.

National Domestic Violence Order Scheme

On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme was launched. In South Australia, domestic violence orders are called 'Intervention Orders'. You can find out more about these here:

In the past, domestic violence orders only applied in the state or territory in which they were issued or registered. This has now changed.

As of 25 November 2017, the implementation of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme means that all DV orders issued from this date are now automatically nationally recognised and enforceable. If you have a current DV order that was issued prior to 25 November 2017, you can apply to the court to have it nationally recognised.

For more information visit the website of the Attorney-General's Office, or see the below brochures.

National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010 - 2022

National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010 - 2022

The Commonwealth, state and territory governments worked with the community to develop a 12-year National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan).

Released in 2011, the National Plan focuses on stopping violence before it happens in the first place, supporting women who have experienced violence, stopping men from committing violence, and building the evidence base so that we learn more about 'what works' in reducing domestic and family violence and sexual assault.

The First Action Plan: Building a Strong Foundation 2010-2013 laid a strong foundation for long-term change. Key initiatives established under the First Action Plan include:

The Second Action Plan: Moving Ahead 2013-2016 was launched in June 2014 by then Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The Second Action Plan contains five National Priorities and 26 actions which are joint areas of work that all governments agree are critical to moving ahead in reducing violence against women and their children.  A key initiative under the Second Action Pan is the National Campaign to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children - Let's Stop it at the Start.

The Third Action Plan 2016-2019 was launched on 28 October 2016 by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The Third Action Plan is strongly linked to the Final Report of the COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence Against Women and their Children. The Third Action Plan increases the focus on preventing violence against and responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and responding to children living with violence. It also looks to respond to growing and significant modern forms of sexual violence against women including sharing intimate images without consent.

Responding to Domestic Violence

Responding to Domestic Violence

A number of policy responses were put in place following the Inquest into the death of Zahra Abrahimzadeh who was murdered by her estranged husband in 2010. Some of these responses directly related to the issues raised by the Coroner as well as other broader measures to help prevent domestic violence.

These responses include:

  • A Women's Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service - funded by the South Australian Government and delivered by Victim Support Service
  • An Early Warning System designed to increase accountability and provide an escalation point when there have been flaws in responding to domestic violence (now known as the Domestic Violence Response Review)
  • Ensuring all State Government agencies gain White Ribbon Workplace accreditation - being led by the Equal Opportunity Commission
  • Strengthening penalties for people who are proven to be consistent domestic violence offenders

Violence Against Women Collaborations

Violence Against Women Collaborations

What are Violence Against Women (VAW) collaborations?

Violence Against Women (VAW) Collaborations strengthen partnerships between agencies that respond to women and children experiencing domestic and Aboriginal family violence and/or sexual assault. The Collaborations identify gaps in service provision and provide an opportunity for the development of strategic regional responses to women experiencing domestic and Aboriginal family violence, sexual assault and homelessness due to violence.

Are VAW collaborations different to the Family Safety Framework?

YES. The Family Safety Framework seeks to ensure that services to families most at risk of violence are provided in a more structured and systematic way. This is done through agencies sharing information about these families and sharing responsibility to support these families.

VAW Collaborations are multi-agency partnerships which will identify and develop regional strategies to respond to and prevent violence against women. The Collaborations will build community capacity to prevent and reduce the incidence of violence against women in local regions by working to create cultural and attitudinal change within the community that addresses the underlying causes of this violence.

The Violence Against Women Collaborations aim to increase sector capacity to provide integrated responses to women and children experiencing violence, including those women who are homeless as a result of violence.

Who is involved?

Every region across South Australia has its own unique strengths and challenges and regions will determine the agencies involved which may include but are not limited to:

What are the essential elements of the VAW collaborations?

VAW Collaborations bring together service providers to develop strategic regional responses including:

  • Regional Action Plans:
    Developed in each region to identify the gaps, prioritise the work and develop the response plan.
  • Supportive Housing:
    Supporting the fair and equitable allocation of supportive houses within a Region.
  • Complex Case Management:
    Ensuring clients who have complex and/or multiple needs receive a joined-up case management response.

Who co-ordinates the VAW collaborations?

Each region will have ownership of their local VAW Collaboration and determine the governance arrangements (chair and executive support) within the group.

The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion will provide the framework and templates for VAW Collaborations and will participate as partners in regional groups.

Regional VAW Collaborations will provide six-monthly reporting. The information will enhance government knowledge and help to shape future policy direction to prevent violence against women in South Australia.

Regional Collaborations Guidelines (DOC 1.5 MB)

For further information contact: officeforwomen@dcsi.sa.gov.au

Violence against women in the workplace

Violence against women in the workplace

Workplaces have been identified as key environments in which to undertake preventative action to reduce violence against women and to support women who are experiencing or escaping violence. Workplaces can play an effective and important role in supporting women to remain safe, stay in work and to access specialist support services.

Violence against women can have significant impacts on the workplace. Workplaces can be used as places for perpetrators to harass women and to locate their whereabouts. The perpetrator may also harass colleagues of victims.

It can affect an employee's work performance, cause poor physical and mental well-being, lead to time off work and in some cases can result in termination of employment.

Workplaces can be ideal places for promoting the prevention of violence against women. The National Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children recognises the value of including workplaces in prevention efforts (Commonwealth Government 2011), as does the Victorian Health Framework to Guide the Primary Prevention of Violence against Women in Victoria. Organisations are recognised in both of these strategies as settings through which social norms that support violence against women can be challenged, shaped and changed.

Domestic violence leave

From 1 July 2016 employees of the South Australian public sector are entitled to 15 days domestic violence leave. This additional special leave with pay allows people experiencing domestic violence to take time off work to address issues that may assist them in progressing towards a life free from violence and its effects. More information is available in the Domestic Violence Guideline from the Office of the Commissioner for the Public Sector.

Entitlements such as those provided to South Australian public servants ensure that victims of domestic violence remain financially secure and have time to attend court appearances, seek legal advice or make arrangements to move house.

Safe at Home, Safe at Work

The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to undertake the Safe at Home, Safe at Work project. The Project seeks to inform Australian unions and employers about domestic violence issues for employees and to promote the introduction of domestic violence provisions in enterprise agreements using the new Fair Work framework.

Domestic violence workplace policy

In 2018, the Department for Human Services released an updated Domestic Violence Workplace Policy for employees. A copy of the Staff Guidelines can be accessed here: DHS Domestic Violence in the Workplace Policy - Staff Guidelines.

White Ribbon workplace accreditation

The White Ribbon Campaign in Australia is the national violence prevention campaign supported by individuals and organisations concerned with raising awareness about and ending violence against women. The White Ribbon Workplace Program aims to support workplaces to prevent and respond to violence against women. The Program calls upon organisations to take steps to promote safe workplaces for women by adapting organisational culture, practices and procedures. The Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs for a term of four years. Information about the program is available on the White Ribbon website .

The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion was the first State Government department to achieve White Ribbon accreditation in 2014. All other South Australian Government departments were accredited in 2016.

White Ribbon Campaign

White Ribbon Campaign

The White Ribbon Campaign is a male led campaign to end men's violence against women.

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The white ribbon is worn on the day to represent support for the elimination of violence against women.

Men can take a stand by swearing the White Ribbon Oath and saying no to violence against women.

White Ribbon Day is celebrated across Australia with official events, community events and fundraisers, as well as marches in capital cities.

There are many events happening in South Australia on or around White Ribbon Day. Many are listed on the White Ribbon website.

For more information about the White Ribbon campaign and White Ribbon Day visit the White Ribbon website at whiteribbon.org.au.

Youth Primary Prevention Grants

Youth Primary Prevention Grants

Small grants of up to $5,000 are now available to Youth Services to develop and deliver primary prevention programs addressing domestic, family and sexual violence for vulnerable young people aged 15-21.

Stage One – Expression of Interest

Youth Services answer a short application regarding their interest in developing  a primary prevention activity and attending capacity building support and training from Our Watch, developers of Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, and Changing the Picture: A national resource to support the prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.

Expressions of interest close on 29 March 2019.

Our Watch two day training module is to be held during the week of 29 April 2019.

Stage Two – Grant Application

Services completing the Our Watch training are eligible to apply for a primary prevention grant up to $5000. Organisations must develop and submit a costed proposal for their intended primary prevention activity by 24 May 2019.

Grant funding will support applications that:

  • build young people’s capacity to address the drivers of domestic, family and sexual violence
  • raise community awareness of the issue
  • encourage safe and respectful relationships
  • engage young people in developing communication and social marketing initiatives.

Click here to read the Youth Primary Prevention Grants Guide (PDF 182.2 KB).

For grant details and to submit an expression of interest for the grant program, visit the SA Tenders and Contracts website.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS [sm v5.4.7.1] .

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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
URL:
https://officeforwomen.sa.gov.au/womens-policy/womens-safety
Last Updated:
16 May 2017
Printed on:
22 Mar 2019
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