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's News: Spotlight on institutional child sexual abuse

On the weekend I went to the cinema to watch the movie most critics think will win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2016 – ‘Spotlight’. The film tells the true story of a team of investigative journalists at the Boston Globe – the so-called ‘Spotlight’ team - that blew the lid on the depth of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests in the Catholic Church in the 1980s and 90s. But the film isn’t just about reporters who unearthed a scandal. Rather, it is about an entire community that became complicit — from law enforcement to church leaders to the newspaper itself.

The result is that all institutions are held accountable in 'Spotlight', including the Boston Globe itself which was presented with the key elements of the story many years before the Spotlight team commenced their work, largely prompted by a new Editor from outside Boston. The film brilliantly exposes the issues of institutional child sexual abuse, including the abuse of power, the focus of the Church on cover-up rather than support and justice, and the devastating and lifelong impact on victims. 

Julian Roffe
Chief Executive, VSS

8 February 2016

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Program News: Changes to renting laws help protect victims of DV

Everyone has the right to feel safe and live in an environment free from violence. Renting laws changed on 10 December 2015 to provide more options to help victims escape domestic violence. Victims can now either stay at the rented home and have the perpetrator leave, or leave the rented premises and be removed from the rental agreement.

  • Staying means applying to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) to have the perpetrator removed from the rental agreement.
  • Leaving means applying to SACAT to either end your part in the agreement or terminate the agreement altogether.

Other changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (SA) empower SACAT to determine if one or more, but not all co-tenants, are liable for compensation to the landlord. SACAT can also prohibit a tenant’s personal information being listed on a Residential Tenancy Database (tenant’s blacklist) in certain situations of domestic violence (for example, where the damage was caused from an act of abuse against the victim).

The Women's Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service can assist in in making applications to SACAT. For more information visit our webpage, call the Victim Helpline on 1800 VICTIM (1800 842 846) or email wdvcas@victimsa.org.

 

VSS wins State Merit Award at 2015 Australian Crime & Violence Prevention Awards

On 1 December 2015 Victim Support Service (VSS) was presented with a State Merit Award at the annual Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards in Canberra. 

The award recognises the success of VSS’ Staying Home, Staying Safe program in reducing and preventing violence against women affected by family and domestic abuse.

VSS Chief Executive Julian Roffe says the Staying Home, Staying Safe program has helped to improve the safety of almost 3000 women in South Australia.

The program is funded as an initiative under the Federal National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).

Find out more about the Staying Home, Staying Safe program. 

 

Client News

We work hard to give our clients and their families the best support we can, which is why it is great to hear positive feedback from clients who have had our help. 

If you've had our help, we'd like your feedback to help us make sure that our services are as good as they should be. 

Tell us what you think about our service by filling in a Feedback Form

Current opportunities

We are looking for volunteers to help out in different areas of our organisation. They offer their skills, their time and their experience to help us carry out the work we do to help victims of crime. 

There are lots of different ways that you can get involved as a VSS volunteer. 

Find out more about the different types of work that you could be doing. 

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Resource of the Week

Children's exposure to domestic and family violence: key issues and responses

Monica Campo, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Child Family Community Australia, 2015  Online only
This paper presents an overview of the effects of domestic and family violence on children, and outlines a range of evidence-based responses. It emphasises that traumatised children require specialised trauma-informed services.

Learn more about the VSS Resource Centre, and join here 

Newsletters

Victims' Voice

Get the latest Victims' Voice newsletter.

Previous editions: September 2015  June 2015  March 2015.

Crime Victim Enews

Get the latest Crime Victim Enews

Subscribe to Crime Victim Enews.

Borrowers Club

Get the latest Borrowers Club newsletter.

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Volunteer News

In partnership with South Australia Police, we are piloting the First Response program in Western Adelaide between February and June 2016.  

First Response provides practical advice, information and emotional support to victims of property crime.

Our trained First Response volunteers provide emotional support and practical information about insurance claims, compensation, personal safety, and home security. This can be as simple as providing help with filling out forms, or making phone calls on behalf of victims to get broken doors and windows repaired.

Victims of property crime living in Port Adelaide Enfield, City of Charles Sturt, and City of West Torrens are eligible for First Response services.

Find out more about the First Response program and how you can get involved as a volunteer

Create Change

Advocacy Update: Supporting child victims of crime

Child Victims of Crime Discussion Paper

On 10 November 2015, VSS in partnership with Anglicare, hosted the ‘Improving Justice and Support for Child and Adolescent Victims of Crime’ Conference. This event involved a diverse group of almost 100 representatives from across the non-government and government sectors with an interest in supporting young victims of crime. Conference participants heard from experts who talked about the dearth of short and long-term support available for young victims of crime and considered and discussed what should be done to address the issues. DemocracyCo summarised the outcomes from the conference. Download a copy of the report. 

Participants proposed two key ideas to improve services for child victims of crime: a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for young victims of crime to facilitate support and service provision; and a children's court advocate to work directly with young victims during a court case. These two options are the basis of our Services for Child Victims of Crime Discussion Paper

We're seeking comments, feedback and ideas relevant to two key proposals outlined in the Discussion Paper. In addition, we are particularly interested in hearing about trauma-informed models, innovations or practices that may better meet the needs of child victims of crime. 

Submissions can be provided by email to katherinem@victimsa.org or by post to:

Katherine McLachlan
Quality & Research Manager
Victim Support Service
PO Box 6610 Halifax St
Adelaide SA 5000

Submissions close 5:00pm, Monday 14 March 2016. 

Client Survey of Child Victims of Crime

VSS wanted to know how many of our adult clients have children at home who have also been affected by the crime(s) that have resulted in the adults seeking support from VSS. We wanted to learn what the issues are that kids are dealing with, and the services used or sought to help kids affected by crime. So, between 14 December 2015 and 31 January 2016 we asked our clients what the issues were. This survey results we have collected will form the basis of a report outlining what parents want for their children, when they have been affected by crime. We thank all of our clients who participated in the data collection. If you or your children have any experiences you want to share with the VSS research team, please email us at info@victimsa.org.  

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

VSS Submissions

Liquor Licensing Act 1997 (SA) Review Submission

The Attorney-General’s Department (SA) released a Liquor Licensing Discussion Paper in late 2015. One of the key topics for consideration relates to ‘a safer drinking culture’ and alcohol-related harms.  

On 29 January 2016, VSS made a submission to the Review of the Liquor Licensing Act 1997.

VSS supports the submission prepared by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE). We agree that prevention of alcohol harms should be the priority in undertaking this Review.

Our submission is available in our list of submissions.

FARE’s submission is available here

Revenge Porn Submission

On the 12 November 2015 the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee of the Australian Senate initiated an inquiry into the phenomenon colloquially referred to as 'revenge porn', which involves sharing private sexual images and recordings of a person without their consent, with the intention to cause that person harm.

VSS made a submission to the Inquiry on 12 January 2016.

It is available in our list of submissions and can also be downloaded from the Parliament of Australia website, here.

VSS You Tube

1800 VICTIM (1800 842 846)

1800 842 846

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)