VSS Update

Aboriginal Issues

Child Protection

Crime Prevention

Domestic Violence


Elder Abuse


Measuring Crime

Royal Commission

New Resources at VSS

In The Media






Welcome to Victim Support Service’s Crime Victim e-news.


Dear friends of VSS,


Welcome to the February edition of Crime Victim E-News.

This is the first Crime Victim E-News of 2017. I hope everyone had a restful break over the Christmas period, re-charging the batteries for what will no doubt be another busy year in the crime and justice arena.


The recent domestic violence homicide of Teresa Bradford in Queensland by her estranged husband, less than three weeks after he was granted bail on assault charges, brings into sharp focus the shocking reality that, in complete contrast to most of us, many women, children and families face increased violence during the Christmas period.


A key issue that this case raises is that Teresa Bradford was not informed by any of the justice agencies that David Bradford had been released on bail.


In South Australia, the Declaration of Principles Governing Treatment of Victims in the Criminal Justice System states that a victim should be informed, on request, if an application for bail is made by the alleged offender. This puts the onus on the victim to keep themselves informed rather than placing this responsibility with the agencies of the criminal justice system (CJS).


Additionally, if a police officer or a person representing the Crown in bail proceedings is made aware that the victim feels a need for protection from the alleged offender:

(a) the police officer or other person must ensure that the perceived need for protection is brought to the attention of the bail authority; and

(b) reasonable efforts must be made to notify the victim of the outcome of the bail proceedings and, in particular, any condition imposed to protect the victim from the alleged offender (unless the victim indicates that he or she does not wish to be so informed).


This may sound good on paper, but in practice failure to comply with the Principles carries very little disincentive for CJS agencies. As stated by the Hon Michael Atkinson at the time the Victims of Crime Bill was being debated in Parliament:

“This bill purports to place in legislation rights of victims of crime that were in the declaration of the rights for victims of crime published by the government a couple of years ago. I say ‘purports’ because a breach of these rights carries no punishment, damages or compensation”.


Currently, where the Commissioner for Victims Rights believes that an agency or official of the CJS has failed to comply with the declaration of principles, he may recommend that the agency or official issue a written apology to the relevant victim.


We have previously recommended that the Act is amended to mandate agencies of the CJS to implement procedures that would compel them to meet the requirements of the Act, and that failure to meet these requirements would result in a more stringent response.


After all, victim’s rights are effectively illusory if there is no redress for victims when those rights are breached.


Kind regards


Julian Roffe

Chief Executive



VSS Update

Victim Support Service reports growth in number of victims seeking domestic abuse support services in South Australia.

VSS Media Release, 24 November 2016



Aboriginal Issues

Solutions that work: what the evidence and our people tell us

Pat Dudgeon [and 8 others], University of Western Australia, 2016
Recommends strategies to drive down the devastating rate of suicide in Indigenous communities.

Family violence prevention programs in Indigenous communities

Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016
The evidence remains inconclusive on what works to reduce Indigenous family violence, as there have been too few adequate evaluations, but there are some clear principles for successful programs.


Child Protection

Disability and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts

Prof. G. Llewellyn, Dr S. Wayland, G. Hindmarsh  for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2016

This research report suggests that up to 14% of children with disability will experience sexual abuse. 


Child protection Australia 2014–15

Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016

This paper presents and discusses a snapshot of data describing child protection activity in Australia.

Scoping study for research into prevalence of child sexual abuse in Australia

Ben Mathews [and 8 others], Social Policy Research Centre (UNSW) for The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2016
This study outlines the proposed research design, methodology, cost and governance for 2 studies into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia and the prevalence of institutional child sexual abuse.

Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2014–15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

This report uses data linkage to present information on young people aged 10–17 who were both in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision in 2014–15.

Mandatory Sentencing for Serious Sex Offences against Children

Sentencing Advisory Council, Tasmania, 2016
Investigates the possible implementation of minimum mandatory sentencing for serious sexual offences against children, and provides preliminary advice on the legislative means to implement it.
Our safety counts: key findings from the Australian Survey of Kids and Young People - Perceptions of interpersonal safety and characteristics of safe institutions

Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University, 2016
Presents key findings from an online survey of children and young people aged 10-18 which explored their perceptions of interpersonal safety in institutions, and their needs.


Crime Prevention

Pervasive influence of maternal and paternal criminal offending on early childhood development: a population data linkage study

By K.R. Laurens, S. Tzoumakis, M. Kariuki, and M.J. Green, 2016

“The effect of parental offending on early childhood developmental outcomes is pervasive, with the strongest effects on functioning apparent when both parents engage in violent offending. Supporting affected families in early childhood might mitigate both early developmental vulnerability and the propensity for later delinquency among these offspring.” (K.R. Laurens et al.)


Justice reinvestment

Lenny Roth, NSW Parliamentary Research Service, 2016
Justice Reinvestment is based on the premise that imprisonment is an expensive and largely ineffective way of reducing crime. This paper outlines the development of justice reinvestment in Australia.


Domestic Violence

View the latest ANROWS research on domestic violence here.


1800RESPECT toolkit for frontline workers
This toolkit provides access to good practice guidelines, videos, webinars, tools and resources for frontline workers.


Invisible women, invisible violence: Understanding and improving data on the experiences of domestic and family violence and sexual assault for diverse groups of women: State of knowledge paper

Trishima Mitra-Kahn, Carolyn Newbigin, Sophie Hardefeldt, ANROWS, 2016
This paper establishes the state of knowledge about the experiences of domestic and family violence and sexual assault among women from diverse groups, and also describes the knowledge gaps.

Domestic violence and gender inequality

Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee, 2016

This report reviews the role of government initiatives at every level in addressing the underlying causes of domestic violence, including commitments under the National Plan.

Intimate partner violence against women in Australia: related factors and help-seeking behaviours

E. Stavrou, S. Poynton, D. Weatherburn, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016 

“Key red flags for intimate partner violence were emotional abuse by a partner, lack of social support, financial stress and having a disability or long-term health condition. One of the biggest impediments to reporting domestic violence is a mistaken belief among many victims that it is wrong but not a crime.” (-D. Weatherburn)

Domestic and family violence initiatives and funding across Australian jurisdictions in 2016–17: a quick guide

Helen Portillo-Castro, Parliamentary Library (Australia), 2016
A quick guide to recent funding commitments by state and territory governments to address domestic and family violence. It also outlines the national framework for reform.



Alcohol/Drug-Involved Family Violence in Australia: Final report (Monograph 68).

P. Miller [and 6 others], Canberra, National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund, 2016

“Alcohol and drug use plays a substantial role in Family and Domestic Violence… Key challenges include the intergenerational nature of the cycle of violence, and the devastating impact on children.”(NDLERF)


Family violence, alcohol consumption and the likelihood of criminal offences

Paul Sutherland, Cleave McDonald, Melanie Millsteed, Crime Statistics Agency, 2016 

This research paper analysed over 120,000 family violence incidents recorded by Victoria Police in 2014-15. 1 in 5 incidents involved definite alcohol use by victim, perpetrator or both. 


Elder Abuse

Elder abuse: discussion paper

Australian Law Reform Commission, 2016

This paper includes 43 proposals for law reform. Submissions are sought before 27 February 2017.



Youth detention population in Australia 2016

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

 “Numbers and rates of young people in detention dropped slightly over the 4 years [June 2012-June 2016],…55% of all young people in detention on an average night were Indigenous.” (-AIHW)


Sex discrimination, sexual harassment and predatory behaviour in South Australia Police: Independent review report

South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission, 2016

This review found that sex discrimination and sexual harassment of women – and others who don’t fit the white macho male stereotype - is commonplace in SAPOL, including managers.

Transition from prison for people with intellectual disability: a qualitative study of service professionals

Jesse T. Young [and 4 others], Australian Institute of Criminology, 2016
Representatives of disability and justice-related agencies in Queensland and Western Australia were interviewed for this research.


Trajectories in online child sexual exploitation offending in Australia

Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017

This study is an important early step in improving our understanding of offenders and points to the need for further assessment of the nature of online child sexual exploitation. (-AIC)


Measuring Crime

Identity crime and misuse in Australia 2016

Attorney-General's Department (Australia), 2016

Identity crime continues to be one of the most common crimes in Australia, with an estimated annual cost exceeding $2.2 billion. Identity crime continues to be a key enabler of organised crime.


Spam and criminal activity

Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017

In a sample of more than 13 million emails identified as spam, more than 100,000 contained malicious attachments, and nearly 1.4 million contained malicious web links. If opened, these attachments and links infect the recipients’ devices with software that allows cybercriminals remote access.


Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – also see under Child Protection

Information about all recent Royal Commission activities can be viewed here


Victim Support Service www.victimsa.org provides support, face-to-face and phone counselling, and advocacy for people in SA who have been affected by the Royal Commission, including ongoing support.


Model bill to amend evidence laws

The model Bill aims to allow for greater admissibility of tendency and coincidence evidence and facilitate more joint trials.


Submissions to criminal justice consultation paper


New Publication in the VSS Resource Centre

Hope was all I had: A journey of tragedy and triumph. Scott, Glyn. 2016.

The true story of one South Australian woman's fight for survival against abuse, rape and murder. Her amazing courage and ability to never give up, triumphed over evil. DV103

Learn more about the Resource Centre and join here 


In the Media

Recent ABC media reports on Law, Crime and Justice can be viewed online here



‘Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting via the Quran and Sunnah’.

This event, presented by Zakiyyah Muhammad, will include topics such as breastfeeding, parenting in 3 stages, and grief and loss. Enquiries can be directed to info@familyhaven.com.au or call 0403 874 062.

27 February 2017. Adelaide, SA

Family Haven & SA Pregnancy and Parenting Counselling Services



Applied Research in Crime and Justice Conference

15-16 February 2017. Sydney, NSW
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, and, Griffith Criminology Institute at Griffith University


The Second International Conference on Non-Adversarial Justice: Integrating Theory and Practice

6-8 April 2017. Sydney, NSW

The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration.



1800RESPECT Online Resilience Program

A 10-week online program for frontline workers who may be experiencing, or want to prevent, ongoing stress, burnout or vicarious trauma.



Pathways to Empowerment Program

A 9 week trauma-informed program for women who have experienced domestic violence (does not have to be current) to reflect on their values and lifegoals and develop an individual learning plan. Includes financial and digital literacy, and pathways to study/work.

Tuesday Group – February 7th to April 4th. Women’s Community Centre, 64 Nelson Street Stepney.  Thursday Group – February 9th to April 6th. Western Suburbs- location to be advised on registration.

To register: contact Kelly on phone 0414 744 377 or email kelly@zahrafoundation.org.au

Zahra Foundation


Webinar on Workplace Responses to Gender Based Violence.

Webinar to help employers address gender-based violence as a workplace issue by developing and implementing policy and responses to support employees who experience or perpetrate such violence. Register here

14 February 2017. Online



‘Supporting Resilient Workers: Addressing Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout’

For frontline workers in helping roles. For more information or to register, contact Fiona Meade on fionameade@outlook.com or phone 0452 040 997.

23 February 2017. Port Pirie, SA

Fiona Meade Counselling Services


Re-Wiring The Brain For Better Mental Health: Neuroscience Based Techniques that Transform Depression, Anxiety, Trauma & Addiction into Resilience

1-Day Workshop led by clinical psychologist Dr Jennifer Sweeton (Stanford University)

22 March 2017. Adelaide, SA

TATRA Corporate and Allied Health Training Services


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)