Dear friends of VSS
Welcome to the April edition of Crime Victim e-news.
This month VSS made a submission to the Senate’s Public Finance and Administration References Committee’s enquiry into the link between domestic violence and gender inequality. To ensure the voices of victims are heard by the Committee, we included several case studies to demonstrate the lived experiences of women and their children affected by family and domestic abuse. You can read a full copy of our submission here.
One of the most significant issues facing victims of family and domestic abuse raised by our submission is jurisdictional conflict. The court system of Australia is separated into Commonwealth and state jurisdictions, with most criminal matters falling into state jurisdictions, while the Family Law Courts reside in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. It has emerged that Courts are often reluctant to prioritise a child’s right to safety over the rights of parents. Our Women’s DV Court Assistance Service (WDVCAS) has found that many magistrates are reluctant to put children on an intervention order. Moreover, while magistrates have the power under the Family Law Act 1975 (Commonwealth) to vary, discharge or suspend a Family Court order, many are either unaware of this power or unwilling to use it.
The reluctance to do so means that women who have an intervention order against a partner with whom they have children are left to navigate compliance with a Family Court Order while protecting themselves.
Hence, one of our strong recommendations in our submission is that courts in all states and territories receive education about how to protect women and their children from family and domestic abuse, including amending Family Court orders and including children on intervention orders. 
Perhaps the reticence of courts to restrict fathers’ access to children could in part be explained by the inherent gender bias in the legal profession. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the gender pay gap among full-time employees in legal services in Australia is 35.6%, with women chronically underrepresented at senior levels. We believe that targets should be introduced across all Australian states and territories to address gender bias within the legal profession which would lead to greater empathy and, ultimately, protection for women and children.
Kind regards
Julian Roffe
Chief Executive
VSS Update
Port Pirie Domestic Violence Remembrance Day event
Wednesday 4 May, 2016, 1.30-3.30pm.  Women’s Keepsake Garden, Wandearah Road, Port Pirie.
The focus of the event will be to remember the women and children who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. Queries to Jenny Lewis, Victim Support Service, Port Pirie, phone 8633 4888 or email
VSS supports sentencing principles that will lead to swift and certain sentences, where decisions are linked to evidence-based strategies that reduce recidivism rates, and where sentences are delivered through a justice system that offers procedural fairness to victims of crime and provides parallel levels of investment in the rehabilitation of victim and offender.
First Response program 
In partnership with South Australia Police, VSS are piloting the First Response program in Western Adelaide between March and June 2016.  First Response provides practical advice, information and emotional support to victims of property crime. 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 First Response and how you can get involved as a volunteer.
Aboriginal Issues
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS), 2016
Endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. “Achieving Reconciliation Australia’s vision of a reconciled, just and equitable Australia depends on organisations like ours, and individuals like us, addressing these inequalities through our daily actions.” (-ANROWS)
Child Protection – see also Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Survey : Pathways to Support Services for Victims/Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and their families
Australian Institute of Family Studies  for The Royal Commission ,  2016
AIFS invites all victim/survivors of institutional or non-familial child sexual abuse, and their parents and carers  to take part in an online survey about their views and experiences of accessing support services.
Georgina Fuller, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2016
Using data from the DoVE database, this report explores the impact of child sexual assault on a sample of 26 non-offending parents, with a particular focus on examining the link between a parent’s thoughts and feelings about the assault and their subsequent support of, and assistance to, the primary victim.
Crime Prevention
Jason Ferris, M. Devaney, L. Mazerolle, M. Sparkes-Carroll, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2016
Evaluates the utility of Project STOP in reducing the diversion of PSE-based products to clandestine laboratories.
South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, 2016
“Expenditure on casino gaming and other forms of gaming in South Australia represents a small proportion of household disposable income in comparison with gaming machines. ” (-SACES)
Chris Angus, NSW Parliamentary Research Service, 2016
“Outlines the prevalence of cyber bullying in Australia and its impact on individuals and schools. It discusses key government responses and international reviews of the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs.” (-NSWPRS)
Webroot, 2016.
This briefing report by one of the largest US internet security companies, finds that Australia is a lucrative market for cybercriminals.

Domestic Violence - see also under Aboriginal issues, and Gender inequity
Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, 2016.
“The culmination of a 13-month inquiry into how to effectively: prevent family violence, improve early intervention, support victims, make perpetrators accountable...” (-VRCFV)  A key recommendation is the introduction of seventeen safety hubs throughout the State, which would operate as local entry points to specialist family violence support services for families and children.
Survey on domestic and family violence and its impact on parenting.
Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016.
The AIFS is conducting research on domestic and family violence and its impact on parenting. Participation involves an interview with a senior researcher, usually over the phone. Please call 1800 720 142 (free using a landline, rates apply with a mobile) or email for more information.  
Croakey and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, 2016
This online paper summarises coverage from the recent ANROWS 2016 conference.
NZ Family Violence Death Review Committee, 2016
“Argues that different thinking about family violence is required. This includes reframing family violence as a pattern of harm compounded by structural inequities, that is likely to have multiple victims; past, current and future.” (-NZFVDRC)
Victoria Legal Aid, 2016
“In one of the largest studies of its kind, Victoria Legal Aid examined more than 15,000 clients charged with breaching family violence intervention orders.” (-VLA)
Margaret Hamilton, Adrian Dunlop, Medical Journal of Australia, 2016
Describes a pattern of increasing use of methamphetamine in Australia over the past decade.
Gender inequity
Office for Women SA, 2016
Outlines initiatives and actions which aim to support women's economic wellbeing across their lifetime, including to improve financial literacy, reduce the gender pay gap, increase economic wellbeing to reduce violence against women, and educate women on superannuation and saving for retirement.
Amnesty International, 2016.
This report documents the state of human rights in 160 countries and territories during 2015.
Pathways to Support Services for Victims/Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and their Families – online survey
Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016.
AIFS is conducting a research project about how victim/survivors of institutional and non-familial sexual abuse access support services and whether they find these services helpful. The survey is open until 6 May 2016.
Mental Health
Lawrie Moloney, Child Family Community Australia, 2016
This paper reviews the evidence for the effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy, and highlights the factors that contribute to its success.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Read more about the Royal Commission’s work here.
Research reports can be found on the Royal Commission website here.
Survey : Pathways to Support Services for Victims/Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and their families
Australian Institute of Family Studies  for The Royal Commission ,  2016
AIFS invites all victim/survivors of institutional or non-familial child sexual abuse, and their parents and carers  to take part in an online survey about their views and experiences of accessing support services.
Written responses are required by Tuesday April 26, 2016 and can be anonymous.
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Monday 4 April 2016, 10.00am AEST.
Consultation paper on a range of issues examined to date, as they relate to the prevention of, and response to, sexual abuse of children in contemporary out-of-home care. Written submissions should be made by Monday, 11 April 2016.
The Royal Commission has released three background papers on the criminal justice system.
The Royal Commission will deliver a ruling on an application by a party for non-publication orders in this case.
New Publications in the VSS Resource Centre
Her son was killed by his father, her ex-partner, in 2014. Since then Rosie has become a passionate advocate against domestic violence. Her advocacy work has led to a much-needed national focus on family violence. Dv84
Popular myths about love set us up for a struggle with real life. The inconvenient truth is there's no such thing as a perfect partner, all couples fight, and feelings of love come and go like the weather. But that doesn't mean you can't have a joyful, intimate, and loving relationship. Se150 
These items can be borrowed from the VSS Resource Centre. Find out how to join here.
JusticeNet SA is an independent, not-for-profit legal service that provides free legal help to individuals and charitable organisations in South Australia (and the Northern Territory via our Federal Courts Self-Representation Service).
Not-for-profit law information hub
This is a free online service for not-for-profit community organisations, covering national and state laws. Resources cover topics such as getting started; insurance and risk; and tax.
Justice Connect
Practical information for users on how to improve their personal mobile safety.
In the Media
ABC report
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Brisbane Times news article
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Sydney Morning Herald news item
ABC Report
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Western Community Ice Forum
A joint forum to present the issues and impacts of illicit drug use within the community. Register here
5 April, 2016. Woodville, SA.
Adelaide Primary Health Network and SAPOL
Walk for Justice 2016
This 5 km walk aims to raise money for JusticeNet SA, who provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income and disadvantaged South Australians. Register here
17 May, 2016. Adelaide, SA.
JusticeNet SA
Ending Domestic & Family Violence
For more information or to register contact Criterion Conferences on 02 9239 5700, visit the website  or email
12-13 April, 2016. Sydney, NSW.
Criterion Conferences
International Childhood Trauma Conference 2016. Childhood Trauma: Tracing new developments in relational, body-oriented and brain-based approaches to recovery and change.
An International Conference on Innovation in Therapeutic Approaches with Children, Young People and Families.
6-10 June, 2016. Melbourne, Vic.
Australian Childhood Foundation
Pathways to Protection and Permanency: Getting it Right for Children, Young People and Families: ACWA 2016 Conference
15-17 August, 2016. Sydney, NSW.
Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies
Prevalent and Preventable: Practice And Policy In The Prevention Of Violence Against Women And Children:
The AWAVA/ Our Watch International Conference On Violence Against Women
Marai Larasi and Prof Rashida Manjoo will be the keynote speakers.
19 - 22 September, 2016. Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, SA
AWAVA/Our Watch
Safeguarding yourself – Recognising and Responding to Vicarious Trauma.
A 1 day interactive professional development workshop to explore the nature of vicarious trauma, burnout and compassion fatigue, and support you to keep healthy and safe in your work with people impacted by trauma. 
8 April, 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Growing Through Grief Workshop
1-day workshop for adults who have experienced the loss of a close family or friend through death. 
Guest speaker is Tracey Wanganeen of Standby Suicide Response Service.
Bookings essential. Cost of $80 includes lunch and refreshments.    
To register contact Fiona Meade on phone 0452 040 997 or email 
9 April, 2016. Uniting Church, Narooma Boulevard, Murray Bridge, SA.  
Fiona Meade Counselling & Group Work
Women’s domestic violence survivor’s support group
Second Thursday of the month, 10am-12noon. Free group facilitated by a Uniting Communities counsellor which offers women an opportunity to explore the effect of violence and abuse in a safe, non-judgemental setting.
For information including location details, please call 8202 5190.
14 April, 2016 onwards. Adelaide, SA.
Uniting Communities
Working with Adolescent Girls and Their Families
For professionals only. Cost $100. This workshop will discuss female adolescent development in the context of societal, peer, sexual, attachment and social media pressures. Register here
15 April, 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Bower Place
Understanding the complexities in LGBTIQ domestic and family violence: What to look out for and how to respond.
This free 45 minute online webinar provides an overview of abuse in LGBTIQ relationships, barriers that people face to accessing support, and how professionals can improve their work practice and service.  Register here
21 April, 2016. 12.30 pm – 1.15 pm SA time. [Online webinar]
MIFSA (Mental Illness Fellowship SA) partner programs
MIFSA offer a number of programs at Wayville and Christies Beach, SA for partners or carers of those living with mental illness. More details at To register phone 8378 4100 or email
April 2016 onwards. Adelaide, SA
A 1 day workshop presenting practical approaches that facilitate trauma recovery for children and families. Incorporates trauma informed theories including neurobiology, sensorimotor, relational and developmental frameworks.
11 May, 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Australian Childhood Foundation
Presenter: Dr Bethany Brand. This workshop provides a deeper understanding of the impact, assessment and treatment of complex trauma. Uses vignettes, art work, journaling, and videos to demonstrate treatment approaches.
23-24 June, 2016. Melbourne, Vic.
Delphi Training and Consulting
The Mindfulness Combo: Innovative Mindfulness Techniques for Emotional Eating, Weight Loss, Smoking Cessation, Substance Misuse, Breaking Problematic Habits, Impulse Control, Anxiety and Depression
Presented by Pavel Somov. A quick-paced, highly experiential workshop with hands-on exercises.
27 June, 2016. Adelaide, SA.
TATRA Corporate and Allied Health Training Service


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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)