VSS Update

Aboriginal Issues

Child Protection

Crime Prevention

Domestic Violence



Measuring Crime

Mental Health

Royal Commission

New Publications



In the Media






Dear friends of VSS


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


This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place from 4.30pm on Monday 31st October at the VSS Training and Conference Centre on the Second Floor of our new Head Office at 33 Franklin Street.


Following wine and cheese, this year’s Guest Speaker is the Hon Peter Malinauskas MLC, State Minister for Police, Correctional Services, Emergency Services and Road Safety. The Minister recently launched his ‘10 by 20’ strategy to reduce reoffending in South Australia by 10% by 2020. He has established a Strategic Policy Panel chaired by Warren Mundine AO, who will work alongside the likes of Mal Hyde, the former Commissioner of Police, and Michael O’Connell, the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights, to provide leadership and advice on policy and evidence-based practice to support a 3-year reform plan that promotes offender rehabilitation and reintegration as key elements of safer communities and reduced recidivism.


Research suggests that victims are more open to the use of alternatives to custody than is widely supposed, but that they also have serious misgivings about the effectiveness of community corrections orders. A renewed focus on community sentencing will pose an age-old challenge to policy makers – to demonstrate to victims of crime that community sentences are robust and credible and to ensure their voices are heard throughout the justice process.


I believe VSS can play a key role in explaining the rationale behind new approaches to crime prevention to the wider South Australian community – but only if the government is genuinely committed to engaging victims in the inevitable debates and challenges that will ensue.


The VSS AGM is also an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding support that people give to victims of crime in our community. The Victim Worker of the Year Award is presented annually to up to two workers – a ‘volunteer’ award and a ‘professional’ award – who have made a significant contribution in assisting crime victims. The award offers an opportunity to publicly show recognition to a volunteer and worker for ‘making a difference’ to victims’ lives.


Volunteer nominees are defined as ‘”those who provide a significant contribution in assisting crime victims outside of their paid employment”.


Professional nominees are defined as “those who provide an extraordinary contribution in assisting crime victims as part of their paid employment”.


To nominate someone for either the 2015-16 Volunteer or Professional Victim Worker of the Year Award, please complete the nominations form available from our website here and return it to me at julianr@victimsa.org by the closing date – 5.00pm Wednesday 12th October 2016.

Winners of the Award will be presented with an engraved VSS Carriage Clock at the VSS Annual General Meeting on Monday 31st October from 4.30pm at the VSS Training and Conference Centre at Level 2, 33 Franklin Street, Adelaide.


Kind regards


Julian Roffe

Chief Executive


VSS Update


Annual General Meeting

Victim Support Service Annual General Meeting
Monday 31st October, 2016, 4.30pm. At Victim Support Service, new head office – Level 2, 33 Franklin St, Adelaide.

Register by 24th October here


2015-16 Victim Worker of the Year Awards

Victim Support Service (VSS) is pleased to announce the 2015-16 Victim Worker of the Year Awards. Nominations are now being sought for this Award which is presented annually to up to two people – a ‘volunteer’ award and a ‘professional’ award. The VSS Awards provide an opportunity to publicly show recognition to a volunteer and worker for ‘making a difference’ to victims’ lives.

You can find more information on the VSS website here or telephone 1800 VICTIM (1800 842 846) and ask to speak to Serena or Julian. To nominate someone please complete the nominations form on the VSS website at www.victimsa.org  and return it to julianr@victimsa.org  by Wednesday 12th October 2016.



Aboriginal Issues


Kalgoorlie uprising: Black man’s victim. White man’s culprit, and the twisted psychology of racially motivated crime and punishment
Lissa Johnson, New Matilda, 2016
Why do Australians turn away when another justice decision fails Aboriginal people? Dr Lissa Johnson examines the  psychology behind the great Australian silence.

Trends in Indigenous offending NSW: 2001-2015

Don Weatherburn and Stephanie Ramsey, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016

“Over the last 15 years in NSW the rate of Indigenous arrest for violent offences has declined by nearly 37 per cent, while the rate of Indigenous arrest for property crime has declined by almost 33 per cent.” (-BOCSAR)


What’s causing the growth in Indigenous Imprisonment in NSW?

Don Weatherburn and Stephanie Ramsey, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016

“Efforts to arrest growth in the Indigenous imprisonment rate should focus on measures which reduce the number of Indigenous persons being arrested and imprisoned for serious assault resulting in injury, stalking/intimidation and breach of community-based orders.” (-BOCSAR)


Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2011

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

“The disease groups causing the most burden among Indigenous Australians in 2011 were mental and substance use disorders, injuries, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and respiratory diseases. Indigenous Australians experienced a burden of disease that was 2.3 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians” (-AIHW)


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

The impact of delayed reporting on the prosecution and outcomes of child sexual abuse cases

Judy Cashmore, Alan Taylor, Rita Shackel and Patrick Parkinson for The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2016

This study examined how the criminal justice systems in New South Wales and South Australia deal with complaints of child sexual abuse reported to the police in childhood, compared with those in which the report is delayed until adulthood.


Permanency planning in child protection: a review of current concepts and available data 2016

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

“Permanency planning and long-term care for children in out-of-home care can involve family reunification, third-party parental responsibility orders, long-term finalised guardianship/custody orders and adoptions by carers. This report describes concepts and available data in this area, and development work being undertaken to improve national reporting.” (-AIHW)


Service and support needs of specific population groups that have experienced child sexual abuse: Report for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Associate Professor Jan Breckenridge, Gabrielle Flax, Gendered Violence Research Network, University of New South Wales, for the Royal Commission, 2016.
 The report contains extensive discussion of child sexual abuse. If you experience distress you can call the VSS Helpdesk on 1800 VICTIM (1800 842 846) in normal business hours, or 1800 RESPECT (1800 732 732) 24/7.


Our safety counts: Children and young people’s perceptions of safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns:  A Report for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University for The Royal Commission, 2016
This report explores children and young people’s views about safety in institutions, what they believe makes an institution safe for children and young people, and what advice they would give adults about dealing with their safety needs.


Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner Report Card [infographic]

Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner, 2016

This infographic summarises the work accomplished by the Office in the past 12 months to protect children online.



Crime Prevention – see also Child Protection

The revised Group Risk Assessment Model (GRAM 2): Assessing risk of reoffending among adults given non-custodial sanctions

Efty Stavrou and Suzanne Poynton, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016

“The GRAM 2 has been shown to be a robust tool for predicting reoffending. ” (-BOCSAR)


NSW Independent Liquor Law Review Report (Callinan Report) 

Ian Callinan QC, Independent Liquor Law Review, 2016

“Mr Callinan’s report states the lockout laws have made Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD safer and that they are valid. However, he also states the government could consider making [some] changes.” (-NSW Govt. Media release)


Parole release authority and re-offending

Efty Stavrou, Suzanne Poynton, Don Weatherburn, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016
This study concludes that “SPA (State Parole Authority) released parolees appear to be less likely to re-offend, particularly once the parole order has expired. This may be due to the selective processes of the SPA in choosing who should be granted parole or because SPA parolees are more motivated to participate in rehabilitation programs whilst in custody.” (-BOCSAR)


Does the Custody-based Intensive Treatment (CUBIT) program for sex offenders reduce re-offending?

Imogen Halstead, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016

This report aimed “to investigate whether completing the Custody-based Intensive Treatment (CUBIT) program for moderate to high risk/needs sex offenders reduces re-offending” (-BOCSAR)

Domestic Violence

Safer sooner: Strengthening family violence laws

Ministry of Justice (New Zealand), 2016

This webpage sumarises the proposed changes to New Zealand family violence law and provides links to the cabinet papers and further information


University sexual assault and sexual harassment project

Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016

The Respect. Now. Always. national university student survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment will assess the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual assault and sexual harassment among university students.
Any student who wishes to have their voice heard can also make a confidential online submission here


Intimate partner violence and its relationship to couple and family therapy in Australia.

J. Brown IN Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 37(1): 133-136, 2016.

This editorial introduces the articles in this special themed issue on intimate partner violence.


Did defensive homicide in Victoria provide a safety net for battered women who kill? A case study analysis

C. King, P. Easteal, A. Hopkins and L. Bartels IN Monash Law Review 42(1): 138-178.

“This article seeks to draw conclusions about the potential impact of the Crimes Amendment (Abolition of Defensive Homicide) Act 2014 (Vic). We do so by considering whether defensive homicide served as a safety net in the 2014 case of Director of Public Prosecutions (Vic) v Williams.” (-C. King et al.)


Secondary victimization: Domestic violence survivors navigating the family law system [abstract only]

L. Laing IN Violence Against Women, online before print August 23, 2016.

This qualitative study explored the experiences of 22 domestic violence survivors attempting to negotiate safe post-separation parenting arrangements through the Australian family law system.” (-L. Laing)


Drugs – see also Crime Prevention


Establishing the Connection: Interventions linking service responses for sexual assault with drug or alcohol use/misuse:  final report

ANROWS, 2016
xamines the intersections between alcohol or drug (AOD) use and sexual victimisation and trauma. The study captured how AOD and sexual assault services currently work together in Victoria. The aim of the research was to identify how these sectors can better respond to the needs of women and families affected by co-occurring sexual abuse and substance use.


Establishing the connection: Guidelines for practitioners and clinicians in the sexual assault and alcohol and other drug sectors

Australian Institute of Family Studies for ANROWS, 2016

A set of guidelines to assist service providers. The guideline identifies the relationship between AOD use and sexual assault and provides tips for clinicians and practitioners in addressing the needs, consultation and referral of victims and survivors affected by sexual assault and substance use.


Get up, stand up - giving people the means to respond to opioid overdose

Lisa Harris, James Rowe, School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University, 2016
Presents an evaluation of the Take Home Naloxone program, which was established to facilitate the distribution of a (then) Schedule 4 drug to opioid users and their peers.




What I know now [audio program]

Heather Anderson, Charlotte Bedford, Seeds of Affinity Pathways for Women Inc., University of South Australia, 2016
A unique and personal radio series that has been designed to educate the community and raise awareness about the challenges faced by women when they are first released from prison.


Comparisons between Australian and international youth justice systems: 2014–15: fact sheet

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

This fact sheet examines Australian and international approaches to youth justice.


Comparisons between the youth and adult justice systems: 2014–15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

This fact sheet summarises some of the similarities and differences between young people and adults in the justice systems in Australia.


Youth justice supervision history: 2014–15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

This fact sheet summarises the supervision histories (all available information on prior youth justice supervision) of young people who were under youth justice supervision during 2014–15.


Remoteness, socioeconomic position and youth justice supervision: 2014–15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

This fact sheet provides information about the remoteness and socioeconomic status of young people under supervision during 2014–15, based on their last known address.


Joining forces: a partnership approach to effective justice: community-driven social controls working side by side with the Magistracy of the Northern Territory

Daniel Suggit, Australian Policy Online, 2016
“In February 2012, the author was engaged by the NT Department of Justice to undertake a review of Community Courts. This report outlines his observations and is available for the first time to the general public, courtesy of the author and the NT Attorney-General and Department of Justice.” (-D. Suggit)

A follow-up on the impact of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW) on trends in bail

Hamish Thorburn, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016

This study concluded “The Bail Act 2013 (NSW) and subsequent amendments appeared to have an effect on the number and proportion of bail eligible defendants refused bail. ” (-BOCSAR)


Trends in conditional discharges in NSW Local Courts: 2004-2015

Hamish Thorburn, Suzanne Poynton, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016

“Rates of conditional discharges have been rising in New South Wales Local Courts over the past twelve years” (-BOCSAR)



Measuring Crime


NSW Recorded Crime Statistics quarterly update June 2016

“12 major categories of crime in NSW are now lower than they were 20 years ago.” (-BOCSAR)



Mental Health


Healthy Communities: Hospitalisations For Mental Health Conditions And Intentional Self-Harm In 2013–14
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016

This report focuses on the mental health of populations in small areas across Australia. It aims to assist Primary Health Networks and others in making informed decisions about resources required in providing effective primary mental health care.” (-AIHW)


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


Read more about the Royal Commission’s work here


Private session registrations closed on 30 September 2016


Call for submissions about various institutions

The Royal Commission will be holding public hearings in December 2016 into the current policies and procedures of a number of institutions in relation to child protection and child-safe standards.


Consultation paper: Criminal Justice

The Royal Commission is seeking responses to its consultation paper on criminal justice issues in child sexual abuse. Submissions are due on 17 October 2016 and can be submitted electronically to criminaljustice@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au


Consultation paper on records and recordkeeping

The Royal Commission is seeking responses to its consultation paper on records and record keeping practices in relation to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. Written submissions should be made by Monday, 3 October 2016 and can be submitted electronically to records@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au


Evidence and frameworks for understanding perpetrators of institutional child sexual abuse

Michael Proeve, Catia Malvaso, Paul DelFabbro for The Royal Commission, 2016

This research report “examines available evidence regarding the characteristics, motivations and offending behaviour of child sexual abuse perpetrators in both institutional and non-institutional contexts.” (-RCIRCSA)


Scoping study for research into prevalence of child sexual abuse in Australia: Prepared for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Ben Mathews [and 8 others] Social Policy Research Centre,  Queensland University of Technology, Australian Institute of Family Studies , University of South Australia for The Royal Commission, 2016

“Research conducted for the Royal Commission has considered the feasibility and need for a comprehensive study into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia.”(-RCIRCSA)


Report into Victorian state run youth training and reception centres

The Royal Commission’s report into the response of Turana, Winlaton and Baltara, Victoria Police and the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria to allegations of child sexual abuse has been released.


Report into Satyananda Yoga Ashram

The Royal Commission’s report into the response of the Satyananda Yoga Ashram at Mangrove Mountain NSW to allegations of child sexual abuse by the ashram’s former spiritual leader in the 1970s and 1980s has been released.


Report into Knox Grammar School and the Uniting Church

The Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 23 – the response of Knox Grammar School and the Uniting Church of Australia to allegations of child sexual abuse at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga - has been released.


Report into Salvation Army’s Southern Territory

The Royal Commission’s report into the response of The Salvation Army (Southern Territory) to allegations of child sexual abuse at children’s homes that it operated, has been released.


Submissions on best practice when responding to complaints of institutional child sexual abuse

The Royal Commission has published 35 submissions received in response to its consultation paper: “Best practice principles in responding to complaints of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts”.


An evaluation of how evidence is elicited from complainants of child sexual abuse

M. Powell, N. Westera, J. Goodman-Delahunty and A.S. Pichler for The Royal Commission, 2016

This project conducted 17 studies using information from various sources to examine the use and effectiveness of alternative measures for eliciting evidence from child sexual abuse complainants.



New Publications in the VSS Resource Centre


Not quite healed: 40 truths for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse [Book]

Murphey, Cecil and Roe, Gary. 2013. Cs96

Finding strength in community with other survivors is one key to recovery. In "Not Quite Healed," two survivors join forces to share insight and encouragement on the issues that challenge them most. More details here 


When a man you love was abused: a woman’s guide to helping him overcome childhood sexual molestation [Book]

Murphey, Cecil. 2010. Cs95

For all women who know and love a survivor of sexual assault, this is an honest and forthright book about surviving--and thriving--despite past abuses.  More details here


You can borrow these books by joining the VSS Resource Centre. Read more information here





The National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book

This online resource provides comprehensive guidance on issues relating to domestic and family violence for judicial officers dealing with domestic and family violence related cases.

The Australian Institute of Judicial Administration


Lifeline – Get help fact sheets

Includes toolkits and facts sheets on issues such as Domestic and Family Violence, Addictions, Mental Health, Depression, Loneliness, Suicide, Stress, Anxiety, Grief and Financial Problems.



Sydney Institute of Criminology Seminar Proceedings

This site provides access to the entire archive of files from 78 Institute proceedings from 1967-1988. Topics range from gun control, sentencing and shoplifting to white collar crime and mental health in the justice system.

University of Sydney





South Australia Police App

SAPOL has released a ‘one-stop’ mobile app providing a portal for the public to easily access important SAPOL services and information on their mobile devices including a new Track My Crime function.




In the Media (unless otherwise indicated all are ABC reports)


‘Child protection is everyone’s business’ – some standout recommendations from SA’s Nyland Royal Commission

Croakey, 8 September 2016


"This isn't going to change overnight", warns new SA child protection chief

InDaily, 14 September 2016  


Our Watch Award winners announced -

Lauren Novak and Sheradyn Holderhead from The Sunday Mail and The Advertiser were named the winners of the Our Watch Gold Award for their campaign, “Knowing what we’re up against”, which revealed, for the first time, key government data on the extent of domestic violence in South Australia

The Walkley Foundation, 14 September 2016


Backing Bourke: An outback town's bold experiment to save its young people from a life of crime.

ABC Four Corners Report, 19th September 2016


Why is the Indigenous imprisonment rate increasing?


Carly's Law: Bill to attempt to catch online predators grooming children to be reintroduced to Parliament


'Revenge porn' to be criminalised in response to NSW privacy inquiry


Offenders targeting tap-and-go cards, SA police warn, as theft crimes spike


SA Police recruitment gets $4.1 million funding boost, as 2018 target restored


Child sexual abuse royal commission: Salvation Army 'failed to protect children' from sexual abuse


Actor and Indigenous leader Jack Charles to mentor prison inmates


Victorian magistrate's radical proposal for compulsory rehab for drug-addicted children


WA Parliament to debate amendments designed to keep low-level offenders out of jail


Child protection commissioner legislation passes South Australia's Lower House


South Australian police in danger of eroding civil liberties, Police Ombudsman warns


Justice denied: Indigenous women and children still face a legal system stacked against them


Law reforms to reduce backlog of court cases in South Australia proposed





The Adelaide White Ribbon Breakfast

Guest speaker will be Hon Marcia Neave AO, Chair of the recent Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Bookings for the breakfast will open on Tuesday 4 October 2016.

25 November, 2016. Adelaide Convention Centre, SA.

White Ribbon Australia


Blue Knot Day
Annual national awareness day for Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. This year’s theme is: Together we lead the way to survivor recovery’.

24 October, 2016.

Blue Knot Foundation





Stop Domestic Violence: Where does it start? - Probation and Community Corrections Officers Association conference 2016.

This conference focuses on perpetrator violence and features international and nationally recognised experts in their respective fields and training workshops for practitioners.  Register here

18-21 October, 2016. Canberra, ACT.

Probation and Community Corrections Officers Association


Power To The Poor – Silent No More (Anti-Poverty Week Conference)

Featured sessions include discussions on unemployment, homelessness and housing, disability, domestic violence, Work For The Dole, Compulsory Income Management, disability rights and mental health and poverty.

View the program here  or book here

21-22 October, 2016. Adelaide, SA

Anti-Poverty Network SA


Crime Prevention and Communities Conference: Innovative responses to traditional challenges

This important conference will present best practice in policy, evaluation and research. It will feature speakers on a range of crime prevention projects and programs.

3-4 November 2016. Brisbane, QLD.
Australian Institute of Criminology and the Queensland Police Service


Youth, Health and Practical Justice - an interdisciplinary conference

The first national interdisciplinary conference for those working to promote young people's wellbeing and health in education, health service, community, and youth work settings.

4-5 December, 2016. Sydney, NSW.

Practical Justice Initiative, UNSW Australia and Faculty of Health, UTS, Sydney.





The Seventh Annual South Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Annual Public Lecture

‘The sexual politics of domestic violence and women’s citizenship’, lecture to be delivered by Professor Suzanne Franzway, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of South Australia. To RSVP or for more information please email ssps.events@flinders.edu.au 

6 October, 2016. Flinders University City Campus, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide, SA.

Flinders University


Effective use of Interpreters workshop

This training is for workers who provide domestic violence services to people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Designed to develop an awareness and understanding of the impact of cultural issues on client support and outcomes for clients.

28 October, 2016. Mt Gambier, SA.

Australian Institute of Social Relations


Symposium: "Decolonising Criminal Justice: Indigenous Perspectives on Social Harm"

Day One will include discussions on: Aboriginal justice practices; counter-colonial perspectives on justice; decolonising policing; Aboriginal people, justice and mental health; Indigenous criminology; a retrospective of state responses to Indigenous peoples. Day Two will comprise a series of Yarning Circles.

24-25 November 2016. University of Wollongong, NSW.

Forum on Indigenous Research Excellence


Therapeutic approaches for families affected by domestic violence – 1 day workshop

This program is for workers supporting women and children affected by domestic violence, who are from CALD backgrounds and who have experienced abuse, trauma and neglect.

December 5, 2016. Mt Gambier, SA.

Australian Institute of Social Relations

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)