Dear friends of VSS
Welcome to the March edition of Crime Victim E-News.
In late February I presented at the second National Overcoming Indigenous Family Violence (FV) Conference in Cairns.
My presentation focused on the importance of long term sustainable relationships as a key precursor to effective engagement of indigenous communities and indigenous victims of family violence by mainstream non-government organizations, and how some facets of the design of the Victim Support Service (VSS) service model help to sustain long term relationships with both clients and communities.
One facet is that the VSS service model enables Indigenous people to set their own time frames for support compatible with their own cultural protocols. And the other is that our 40 year funding arrangement with the Attorney General allows VSS to focus on long term outcomes with clients, rather than short-term outcomes designed to meet the desired timeframes of governments.
Criminal victimization is a unique form of traumatic stress because (a) it is intentional and (b) it comes with the potential for redress through the criminal justice system and through compensation. Hence, VSS provides a therapeutic response to trauma within the context of the criminal justice system.
For this reason, VSS staff support victims from the time when the crime takes place, through the initial trauma, the police investigation, the court case, sentencing, and when the convicted offender is released. So the VSS service model allows us to support the victim throughout their personal criminal justice journey. We don’t practice what I call the 6-sessions model – our trauma informed approach means that we respond to the victim’s needs according to their timeframe, not ours. I think this fits well with the needs of Indigenous victims of crime.
There are two key add-ons to this particular model of sustained support.
One is the importance of high quality clinical supervision to ensure the effectiveness of interventions over the longer term, coupled with an effective program to combat vicarious trauma which can lead to ‘burnout’ and other issues when providing support to people impacted by trauma over a sustained period.
The other is the importance of measuring the impact of our work over the long term. We
are investing in systems that will provide VSS with an evidence base drawn from client assessments over a sustained period using empirically validated self-report questionnaires such as the DASS (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales), the PCL-5 (an assessment of PTSD) and the IES-R (Impact of Events Scale). In time, we should be able to show which stages of the Criminal Justice System cause the most trauma to victims of crime, and which therapeutic responses have the most positive impact on helping victims to cope and recover.
Kind regards
Julian Roffe
Chief Executive
VSS Update
 ‘MySafePlace’ is a key component of the Safely Together Program, a new VSS 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.
MySafePlace, 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. If you have a trade or business or want to donate in other ways, please contact the VSS Helpdesk on 1800 VICTIM (1800 842 846) to discuss how you can help.
The Survivors and Mates Support Network (SAMSN) runs eight-week groups, 2hrs a week (6pm to 8pm), for men who were sexually assaulted as young boys or adolescents. Any male who was sexually assaulted during his childhood can contact SAMSN about joining one of their groups.
Two groups will be held at VSS in Adelaide in 2017
May 09 to Jun 27 (Tue)
Oct 17 to Dec 05 (Tue)
VSS in The Media
The RAA’s latest research reveals that victims’ stress and anxiety levels are highly impacted following a house break-in. Watch the newsclip to see our Chief Executive Julian Roffe talk with Jayne Stinson from 7 News Adelaide about how we can help people impacted by house break-ins.
We provide free emotional support and practical information about personal safety, home security and compensation claims.
Anyone impacted by a break-in can call the VSS Helpdesk on 1800 VICTIM (1800 842846) for free information and support.
Professor Sarah Wendt, ANROWS, 2016
Research for this project was conducted in South Australia (Mt Gambier, Riverland, Whyalla, Murray Bridge) and Western Australia in 2015 – 2016. Face to face interviews were held with 23 women and focus groups with 37 domestic and family violence service managers and practitioners across South Australia and Western Australia. Victim Support Service, particularly Whyalla Regional Office, participated in this research.  Full research reports will be available later on the ANROWS website
Aboriginal Issues
Stolen Generations Reparation Scheme - individual applications close 31 March 2017
You may be eligible if:
You are an Aboriginal person; and
You were removed from your family as a child prior to 31 December 1975 without a court order; and
When you were removed your normal place of residence was South Australia; or you were removed by South Australian authorities. 
For more information contact Maria Atkins: Phone 08 8463 6533, Mobile 0466 451 651, Email   
M. Wilson [and 7 others] IN SAGE Open, 7(1), 2017
“The “normalization” of violence in their lives and communities places them at high risk of arrest and incarceration. This is compounded by a widespread distrust of the criminal justice system and associated agencies, and a lack of options for community support.” (-SAGE Open)
Alfred Michael Dockery, Ninti One Limited, 2017
This paper uses data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children to explore the relationships between families’ housing, culture and remoteness and their children’s developmental outcomes.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia), 2017
This is the 9th Closing the Gap report and showcases successes being achieved across the country.
Fran Kelly, RN Breakfast, 2017
Why can’t we close the gap? - Jackie Huggins, co-Chair of The National Congress of Australia's First People, discusses the Redfern Statement released in June 2016, and its importance to addressing the persistent gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Australian National Audit Office, 2017
The audit objective was to assess whether the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has effectively implemented the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to achieve the desired outcomes.
Child Protection
Stolen Generations Reparation Scheme - individual applications close 31 March 2017
You may be eligible if:
You are an Aboriginal person; and
You were removed from your family as a child prior to 31 December 1975 without a court order; and
When you were removed your normal place of residence was South Australia; or you were removed by South Australian authorities. 
For more information contact Maria Atkins: Phone 08 8463 6533, Mobile 0466 451 651, Email   
Tony Krone and Russell G. Smith, 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 and its relationship to other forms of sexual and violent offences.” (-AIC)
 Katie Page, Christie Robertson, NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2016
“This Evidence to Action Note outlines key findings related to birth family contact for children and young people in the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study. Links to current best practice and resources are also included.” (-NSWDFCS)
Commissioner for Children and Young People (Tas), 2017
“The imperative for the State as the ‘corporate parent’ is to move from ‘worker’ thinking to ‘as a good parent’ thinking, to consider how the child is, what the child thinks and aspires to, what brings meaning to the child’s life and what the child finds important and hopes for. “ (-The Commissioner)
Caring for our frontline child protection workforce: Discussion paper
Kerry Lewig, Sara McLean, Child Family Community Australia, 2016
This paper offers guidance to the management of child protection and related services by drawing on occupational health literature.
Crime Prevention
This paper examines the appeal of Islamic State to Western women and explores how women can be employed in countering violent extremism structures to prevent further involvement.
Detect, disrupt and deny: optimising Australia’s counterterrorism financing system
Simon Norton, Paula Chadderton, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 2016
This paper examines the international and Australian systems for targeting terrorism financing.
International Committee of the Red Cross, 2017
People affected by crisis or conflict are increasingly reliant on messaging apps for communication with loved ones and for accessing information. This report examines current and potential uses of messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat in humanitarian situations.
Domestic Violence
Sentencing Advisory Council of Victoria, 2017
This paper discusses how a ‘swift, certain and fair’ approach to sentencing family violence offenders, might be implemented in Victoria. The Council seeks submissions by the deadline of 31 March 2017.
Prevalent and preventable: conference reflections
Our Watch, 2016
This report provides an overview of some of the ideas, challenges, and opportunities that were raised at the International Conference on Practice and Policy in the Prevention of Violence against Women and their Children, held in Adelaide in September 2016.
Christopher Harrison, J. Charles, G. C. Miller, H. Britt IN Australian Family Physician, December 2016.
“GPs are in a prime position to identify and manage patients with chronic alcohol abuse as 85% of Australians see a GP at least once a year.” (-AFP)
Alexandra Gannoni, Susan Goldsmid, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2017
“The analysis revealed those detainees most in need of drug treatment were also those most ready to change their drug use.” (-AIC)
Prescription drug abuse: a timely update
Benny Monheit, Danusia Pietrzak, Sandra Hocking IN Australian Family Physician, December 2016
This article examines the main prescription drugs contributing to overdose deaths. It concludes with strategies for doctors for reducing or managing prescription drug abuse.
Kate Galloway IN Eureka Street, February 2017
“The [Australian Law Commission] inquiry into Indigenous incarceration represents the abject failure of successive governments around the country to pay heed to what we do know about the incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians — including the failure to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.” (-Eureka Street)
Victorian Auditor-General, 2017
This audit examined how effectively Corrections Victoria manages community correction orders (court-imposed sentences which allow offenders to complete their sentences in a community setting).
Victorian Ombudsman, 2017
“The facts that emerge from independent sources provide succour to both sides of the debate: while youth crime is decreasing overall, more is being committed, more violently, by a small cohort of repeat offenders, who the system is plainly failing to deal with.” (-VO)
Measuring Crime
Tom Gotsis, NSW Parliamentary Research Service, 2017
Provides an overview of Social Impact Bonds, and considers the extent and costs of recidivism in NSW.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Stolen Generations Reparation Scheme - individual applications close 31 March 2017
You may be eligible if:
You are an Aboriginal person; and
You were removed from your family as a child prior to 31 December 1975 without a court order; and
When you were removed your normal place of residence was South Australia; or you were removed by South Australian authorities. 
For more information contact Maria Atkins: Phone 08 8463 6533, Mobile 0466 451 651, Email   
The Royal Commission has published more than 40 submissions on Records and recordkeeping practices in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions.
This hearing into current policies and procedures of Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in relation to child-protection and child-safety standards, commences 6 March in Sydney, NSW.
This report details the response of the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney to allegations of child sexual abuse.
Support Services for Victims of crime
Pauline Kenny, Sam Morley, Daryl Higgins, Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2017
This resource is intended to guide support services on best practice in building networks to enhance collaboration, referrals and support for people affected by forced adoptions.
New Publication in the VSS Resource Centre
Resistant Anxiety, Worry, and Panic: 86 Practical Treatment Strategies for Clinicians.  Abel, Jennifer L. 2014. Filled with pragmatic approaches and coping strategies, this is a “must-have” book for clinicians.  Fe37
Learn more about the Resource Centre and join here 
Information about national security law and policy in Australia - for the general public.
Australian Government
In the Media
Recent ABC media reports on Law, Crime and Justice can be viewed online
A range of awards will be presented at this event, please consider nominating women you believe ought to be recognised for these awards. For details on the awards and how to nominate, please click here Book for the luncheon here
8 March 2017. Adelaide Convention Centre
IWD Committee of South Australia
This event is celebrating its 25th year. Join the Hon Julia Gillard, host Senator the Hon Penny Wong and MC Sonya Feldhoff, ABC Adelaide. Book here
10 March 2017. Adelaide Convention Centre
IWD Committee of South Australia
The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration.
2017 Safety, Security and Counter-Terrorism Forum
With the growing number of planned or attempted attacks in Australia, this presents huge challenges for the government and enforcement authorities. Read more information here
19-21 April 2017. Sydney, NSW
Clariden Global
10-13th July 2017. Cairns, Queensland. 
The Crime and Justice Research Centre (QUT) and the Asian Criminological Society
The conference will explore the rapid expansion of technology-enabled crime and how collaboration can inform technological, legal and policy responses.
16-18 July 2017. Gold Coast, QLD
Australian Institute of Criminology and the Asia Pacific Association of Technology and Society
A 10-week online program for frontline workers who may be experiencing, or want to prevent, ongoing stress, burnout or vicarious trauma.
1-Day Workshop led by clinical psychologist Dr Jennifer Sweeton (Stanford University)
22 March 2017. Adelaide, SA
TATRA Corporate and Allied Health Training Services
Addressing vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout. 
A day-long course. Cost: $180pp including lunch and refreshments.  
To book or find out more, contact Fiona Meade: mobile 0452040997 or email
23 March 2017. Port Augusta, SA
FIONA MEADE Counselling & Group Work
Forensic and Applied Victimology - Bond University
28-30 April 2017. Bond University, Robina, QLD.
3-day course covers such topics as; applied crime analysis, victim precipitation, solvability and homicide, and victim motivations. For further information or to register, email
Forensic Analytic

Strengthening Your Mindfulness Toolkit: Motivate, Teach, Make it Fun and Make it Stick
Presented by Dr Christopher Willard who will be sharing proven practices and creative ways that can be used to integrate mindfulness into your clinical and case management work.
Early bird rate: $335 (expires 20 March 2017)
5 May 2017. Adelaide, SA
TATRA Corporate & 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)