Welcome to Victim Support Service

Victim Support Service (VSS) provides free and confidential help to adult victims of crime, witnesses, their family, and friends across South Australia. We work in partnership with other organisations, we are not a government agency or part of the police and you don't have to report a crime to get our help. It doesn’t matter where the crime happened and you can call us any time after the crime, whether it was yesterday, last week or several years ago.

CE Update: New premises, new horizons 

This is the first time that I have written my CE Update for Victims' Voice from our new Adelaide Office at 33 Franklin Street. By now, many of you will have visited our new premises either on the ground floor to meet a member of the VSS staff, because you were one of the 80 or so people that attended the recent Annual General Meeting, or perhaps you’ve participated in a training event at our new Training and Conference Centre. Whatever the reason, I hope you’ve been impressed by our new facilities.

This is a significant moment for VSS. We had been at our previous site on Halifax Street for 16 years, but recent growth in services and staff meant we had to move to more spacious accommodation, with better facilities for clients, staff and stakeholders enabling us to improve the quality and range of our services.

A great example of a program that is expanding its support for victims is the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Services (WDVCAS). WDVCAS was established on 1 July 2015 as part of the State Government’s response to the Coroner’s findings in the murder of Zahra Abrahimzadeh. In their first year of operation, our team of lawyers assisted over 450 women, including making more than 200 appearances in Court in support of women seeking Intervention Orders, and supporting 63 women at the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) in relation to the domestic violence provisions of the SA Residential Tenancies Act. It has been a remarkable effort to go from a standing-start to this level of service in only 12 months. Congratulations to Senior Lawyer Debra Spizzo and her team.

The success of the program has been acknowledged by the State government who have agreed to double their funding.

Similarly, our team of Project Officers in the Staying Home Staying Safe team increased from 3 to 6 in November in response to more funding from the Commonwealth government. This will enable the program to conduct risk assessments and safety audits for women and children in Housing SA accommodation, in addition to the 1,200 women a year that the program currently supports.

Despite this growth, what has remained constant at VSS is that victims in South Australia who need help when they are at their most vulnerable have always been able to turn to us for free, confidential and expert support. The blend of therapeutic expertise combined with knowledge of the criminal justice system enables VSS staff to provide a bespoke response to victims of crime, helping them both emotionally and practically. This service model is unique to South Australia. Our approach is augmented by our team of caring and knowledgeable volunteers who guide victims through the court process.

Ensuring that VSS retains this unifying purpose will be critical as the organisation embraces change and seeks to integrate growth and diversification in our services. But perhaps even more important is trust. We need to work hard both as a team and with our partners and supporters to ensure that people retain faith in what we are doing and continue to trust VSS to deliver on its core purpose.

Julian Roffe
Chief Executive
Victim Support Service

14 November 2016

Advocacy update: Safely Together Pilot Program 

Children need to feel safe to recover from family and domestic abuse.

‘MySafePlace’ is a key component of the Safely Together Program, a new service for children who have experienced family and domestic abuse.

MySafePlace turns children’s dream bedroom designs into a reality, helping them to feel safe and secure in their own home and support their recovery from family and domestic abuse.

These bedroom makeovers are much more than a TV ‘feel-good’ renovation – they will make a lasting difference in the lives of many children and families.

Since 2011 our Staying Home, Staying Safe (SHSS) program has improved the safety and reduced the risk of homelessness for over 4,000 women affected by family and domestic abuse in South Australia by improving their home security, but the funding for this program does not extend to providing specific support to children.

That’s where MySafePlace steps in. This initiative, along with other components of the Safely Together Program will provide a greater level of support for children to help them feel safer in their own home.

Children will also have access to counselling and therapeutic interventions to improve their psychological wellbeing as part of the program.

The Safely Together Program is funded by the Attorney-General’s Department (SA) under the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Grants. 

For more information about our Child Victims of Crime Advocacy Campaign, go to our Create Change page. 

Resource of the Week

Dating and Romance (Don’t give your heart to a scammer) [website]
Scamwatch, 2017

Scamwatch is warning people to be wary when looking for romance online, with social media now the most common method scammers use to contact potential victims. This website includes online dating safety advice, tips on warning signs, and what to do if you believe you have been scammed.

Learn more about the Resource Centre and join here 

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Port Lincoln (Lower Eyre), Whyalla (Upper Eyre), Port Augusta (Far North), Port Pirie (Yorke & Mid North), Berri (Riverland), Murray Bridge (Murraylands), Mount Gambier (Limestone Coast)