VSS Update

Aboriginal Issues

Child Protection

Crime Prevention


Domestic Violence

Gender Inequity


Measuring Crime

Royal Commission

New Publications


Web Apps

In the Media





Dear friends of VSS


Welcome to the March edition of Crime Victim e-news.


For those aged over 65, it is estimated that 1 in 10 has been the victim of so-called ‘elder abuse’ – defined by the WHO as a “single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person” (World Health Organization). Most offences relate to financial abuse perpetrated by someone known, and usually related to, the victim, with most victims being older women, most commonly abused by adult sons and daughters. Other forms of abuse include psychological, social, physical, sexual and neglect.


And the amounts involved can be substantial. In 2013-14, the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit in Queensland found a total of $56.7 million was misappropriated from 139 elder abuse victims.


Australia has no national data on elder abuse. But it is an issue that is getting more attention as the population ages and house price growth and rising superannuation savings are creating the wealthiest generation of retirees, motivating some siblings to cross the line in to criminal behavior as a result of so-called ‘inheritance impatience’. Elder abuse has already been the subject of a NSW Upper House inquiry and was included in Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence last year.


So it was good to see the Federal government joining in the debate last month when Attorney General George Brandis announced an inquiry into legal safeguards against the abuse of older Australians, by the Australian Law Reform Commission. Many advocates are calling for new ways to resolve family disputes, especially when it comes to financial abuse, with consideration given to implementing less formal and more accessible forms of dispute resolution for older people and their adult children, especially in relation to property and assets.


The Council of the Ageing (COTA) has also called for more training for people in trusted positions to identify elder abuse.


VSS welcomes the fact that elder abuse is receiving more attention. Just like domestic violence, it is a crime that has lived behind closed doors for too long and victims deserve access to expert information, support and justice.


Kind regards


Julian Roffe

Chief Executive


VSS Update




In February VSS was invited by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee of the Australian Senate to present evidence at the public hearing of the Revenge Porn Inquiry. ‘Revenge porn’ is the colloquial term for the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The opening address we delivered on behalf of victims at the public hearing is available on our website. A full transcript of the public hearing is available on the Parliament of Australia website . The Committee’s final report can also be viewed on the Parliament of Australia website.



Other - 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, Henley Beach, and The Parks are eligible for First Response services.

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


Aboriginal Issues


Applying a We Al-Li Educaring framework to address histories of violence with Aboriginal women

Roslyn (Rose) Carnes, Centre for Rural Regional Law and Justice, Deakin Law School, 2016

Describes the Kunga Stopping Violence pre-release training program conducted in Alice Springs Correction Centre. This is a program for working in a culturally appropriate manner with Aboriginal women who have experienced violence and sexual abuse.


Closing the Gap: Prime Minister's report 2016
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2016

“This Closing the Gap report shows, as in previous years, that there have been mixed levels of success in meeting the targets set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)” (-DPMC)


Drug use monitoring in Australia: an expansion into the Pilbara

Natalie Gately, Suzanne Ellis, Robyn Morris, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2016

In regional Western Australia, little is known about the patterns of substance use and crime. This project sought to better understand a regional offending population and their alcohol and drug use.


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


Can permanent care provide a solution for the troubled child protection system?

Damien Riggs, The Conversation, 2016

New Victorian child protection law reforms will give parents 2 years from when a child is removed to demonstrate that the child should be returned to their care. Otherwise they will permanently lose custody.


The Evaluation of the Protecting and Nurturing Children: Building Capacity, Building Bridges Initiative

Christine Gibson [and 5 others], University of South Australia & Australian Centre for Child Protection, 2015

Evaluation of a national workforce initiative “to bring together diverse services working in specific communities … so they could work more holistically with children and their families” (-ACCP)


Home and away: child and youth homelessness report

Mission Australia, 2016

“According to the 2011 Census, some 44,000 children and young people in Australia are homeless. The reality is worse; many others are ‘hidden homeless’ who are not counted in the official statistics.” (-Mission Australia)


Rights, Remedies & Representation: global report on access to justice for children

Child Rights International Network, 2016

“The most comprehensive review of the extent to which children’s right to an effective remedy, is secured in national legal systems” (-CRIN)


Young people in child protection and under youth justice supervision 2013–14

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

This report presents information on young people aged 10–17 who were involved in the child protection system and under youth justice supervision in 2013–14, and demonstrates the insights that can be gained through data linkage.


Crime Prevention


Evidence check: the effects of online brief interventions for the prevention and treatment of methamphetamine use

David R. Skvarc,[and 4 others], Sax Institute, 2015

This literature review found promising but inconclusive evidence that online brief interventions may be a useful prevention tool to reduce youth methamphetamine use.



Phenomenon colloquially referred to as 'revenge porn' : report of the The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee of the Australian Senate

The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee of the Australian Senate, 2016

This report recommends that the non-consensual sharing of intimate images be criminalised.


Sexting among young people : perceptions and practices

M. Lee, T. Crofts, A. McGovern & S. Milivojevic , Australian Institute of Criminology, 2015

“The rapid development and adoption of online digital technologies has had a profound effect on the way young people conduct their social relationships. The emergence of sexting, or the distribution of sexually explicit photos and videos, has gained widespread attention and raised moral concerns. However, there remains little policy-relevant research on the prevalence of sexting and its impact on young people.” (-AIC)


Domestic Violence - see also under Aboriginal issues, and Gender inequity


1800RESPECT / ANROWS webinar video [Youtube video]


A videorecording of the recent webinar by Dr Peta Cox, Senior Research Officer (ANROWS Research Program), summarising ANROWS analysis of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2012 Personal Safety Survey.


Cyber Stalking and Cyber Harrassment: Potential legal responses to abuse via technology: A resource for domestic violence workers

Legal Services Commission S.A., 2016

“Increasingly, domestic violence clients report receiving abuse and threats by phone and web technology. It is not uncommon for perpetrators to threaten to distribute or upload intimate photos or videos to social media networks or internet sites, including what are known as “revenge porn” sites. This fact sheet is intended to give a brief overview of some prevention and protection options. This overview is intended for information only and is not a substitute for legal advice” (-LSC)


Gender-based violence in 140 characters or fewer: a #BigData case study of Twitter

Hemant Purohit [and 5 others], First Monday, 2016

This study examines big (social) data consisting of nearly 14 million tweets collected from Twitter over a period of 10 months to analyze public opinion regarding gender-based violence.


Phenomenon colloquially referred to as 'revenge porn' : report of The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee of the Australian Senate

The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee of the Australian Senate, 2016

This report recommends that the non-consensual sharing of intimate images be criminalised.


The Line campaign – survey research summary

Our Watch, 2015

A recent survey of over 3000 young Australians found that: “one in four young men believe that controlling and violent behaviours are signs of male strength.” (-Our Watch)


Gender Inequity


Gender Indicators, Australia, Feb 2016
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016

“A summary of gender-specific data in 6 areas of social concern for gender equality: Economic Security, Education, Health, Work and Family Balance, Safety and Justice, and Democracy, Governance and Citizenship.” (-ABS)


Women and payday lending

Gill & Martin North, Good Shepherd Finance, Digital Finance Analytics, 2016

Women's use of payday lending has increased 110% since 2005.




Administration of parole
Victorian Auditor-General's Office, 2016
This audit examined whether parole is being administered effectively in Victoria to achieve its intended outcomes.


The relationship between atmospheric lead emissions and aggressive crime: an ecological study
Mark Taylor, Miriam Forbes, Brian Opeskin, Nick Parr, Bruce Lanphear, BioMed Central, 2016
This study tests the hypothesis that childhood lead exposure in select Australian populations is related to subsequent aggressive criminal behaviours.


Temporal distribution of crime in Victorian night-time entertainment precincts

Crime Statistics Agency, 2016

There is an established relationship between crime and areas with a high density of licensed premises (night-time entertainment precincts). Various initiatives have been implemented with the aim of reducing harms that arise as a result of alcohol consumption in such precincts, but measuring the effectiveness of these initiatives is complicated.


Measuring crime


Trends in serious injury due to road vehicle traffic crashes, Australia: 2001 to 2010

Geoff Henley, James Harrison, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

Estimates of trends in the number and rate of persons seriously injured in Australia due to road vehicle crashes.


Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse


Read more about the Royal Commission’s work here.


Cardinal Pell to give evidence from Hotel Quirinale in Rome

The Royal Commission will hear evidence from Cardinal George Pell from 29 February 2016 as part of its public hearings into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.


Child sexual abuse in the Australian Defence Force Cadets

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would like anyone who has information regarding child sexual abuse within the Australian Defence Force Cadets to contact the Royal Commission. 


Public hearing into Criminal justice issues

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Tuesday 15 March 2016 at 10.00am AEDT.


Public hearing into Centres for the performing arts

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Wednesday 2 March 2016 at 2:00pm AEDT.


Feeling safe, being safe : What is important to children and young people with disability and high support needs, about safety in institutional settings?

Sally Robinson, Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, for the Royal Commission, 2016

A research report that explores how children and young people with disability view their safety and safety needs within institutions.


New Publications in the VSS Resource Centre


Attachment-focused trauma treatment for children and adolescents : Phase-oriented strategies for addressing complex trauma disorders.  Gomez-Perales, Niki. 2015. Ct30 


8 keys to forgiveness.  Enright, Robert; Rothschild, Babette. 2015.

What should we do when forgiveness feels particularly hard, or we need to forgive ourselves?  Se153 


These items can be borrowed from the VSS Resource Centre. Find out how to join here.




Resilience program for frontline workers

This online program contains detailed information about understanding vicarious trauma and how to look after yourself when you're dealing with gendered violence. Watch videos and access webinars, plus assess how resilient you are with the resilience assessment.



All of us: understanding gender diversity, sexual diversity and intersex topics for years 7 and 8

Christopher Bush [and 4 others], Safe Schools Coalition Australia, 2016

A collection of short videos and teaching activities to assist students in understanding gender and sexual diversity.

Foundation for Young Australians


Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner : a one-stop-shop for online safety
Provides Australians with a range of up-to-date information and resources on e-safety, coupled with a comprehensive complaints system to assist children who experience serious cyberbullying.

Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner

Web Apps


DAISY: is for women at risk of or experiencing violence

Daisy links women in dangerous situations to specialist services. This app is also useful for frontline workers in domestic and family violence work.


In the Media


Over one-third of specialist homelessness clients seek domestic and family violence support

AIHW media release


ATO phone scam warning, with some victims losing as much as $100,000

ABC Report


RN Afternoons looks at the SafeTCard, a device designed to curb Australia's horrifying rate of domestic violence.

ABC Radio National


Mount Gambier court-ordered domestic violence counselling for men begins

ABC Report


Yatala Labour Prison's $14m extension to focus on prisoners' 'wellbeing' and rehabilitation

ABC Report


Indigenous lawyers and law students making a mark on SA courts under scholarship and mentoring programs

ABC Report


Why Pell and the Church are the target of so much rage

ABC Opinion


Equal opportunity laws failing to change culture of gender inequality, Sex Discrimination Commissioner says

ABC Report


Sexual assault: Victim-blaming attitudes common among young people, research finds

ABC Report




Breaking the Cycle for Domestic & Family Violence: interagency response & intervention

30 March-1 April, 2016 Sydney, NSW.

Akolade Events


Ending Domestic & Family Violence

For more information or to register contact Criterion Conferences on +61 2 9239 5700, visit or email registration@criterionconferences.com
12-13 April, 2016. Sydney, NSW.

Criterion Conferences



2016 National ICE Conference: creating the knowledge through innovation & education

For details contact Catherine at kwyevents@kwy.org.au or phone: 0437959504
Register here.

Currently also seeking presenters for break-out sessions.

15-16 September, 2016. Stamford Plaza, Adelaide, SA.

Kornar Winmil Yunti




Is he (she) a danger?: Assessing and managing risk of violence in clinical practice.

Presenter: Dr Phil Watts. The focus of this workshop is on practical risk assessment skills, and is designed for clinicians. DV, stalking, and risk to practitioners are considered. Ethical and legal responsibilities are discussed.
2 March, 2016. Adelaide, SA.

Dr Phil Watts


Advanced cultural competence in trauma treatment for clinicians

Presenter: Dr Laura S. Brown. This seminar will explore a culturally competent approach to trauma treatment.

3-4 March, 2016. Sydney, NSW.

NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors


Neuroscience for Clinicians: Brain Change for Stress, Anxiety, Trauma, Substance Abuse, and Depression

Presented by C. A. Simpkins and A. M. Simpkins. Discover ways to use neuroplasticity therapeutically.
To register click here     View the program here

16 March, 2016. Adelaide, SA.

TATRA Corporate and Allied Health Training Services


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.



I don't trust you but you are my last hope : assessing and treating complex trauma

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.

To register click here    View the program here  

27 June, 2016. 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)