DVNSW collaborates with peak bodies, members, the Department and state/federal government to provide advice and key changes across legislation, policy and practices.

You can find out about our key collaborations below.

This Good Practice Resource Manual is intended to sit alongside DVNSW’s Good Practice Guidelines for the Domestic and Family Violence Sector in NSW.

The Guidelines provide a framework of overarching principles. The Resource Manual supports the guidelines by providing practice-based resources and tools to support both frontline workers and service managers in good practice service delivery. These tools include policy and procedure templates, guidelines on working with different client cohorts, and clinical practice notes.

The Good Practice Resource Manual is a live document that DVNSW will continually update with any new and helpful resources that become available.  DFV services are welcome to submit suggestions about useful resources to include. You can do this by emailing admin@dvnsw.org.au.

Resources in this Resource Manual are grouped under topic areas.  Click on the links below to access resources in each of the topic areas.

Children and young people should be treated as DFV victim-survivors in their own right, not simply as dependents of a parent who is a victim-survivor.  This requires an approach that upholds the safety of children and young people, protects their human rights and incorporates their voices in decisions that affect them.  

The following resources may be helpful in implementing support for children and young people:

DVNSW, Presentation on impacts of DFV on children and young people

  • This presentation outlines the warning signs and impacts of DFV on children and young people by age group.

Save The Children, Presentation on how to support children impacted by DFV and trauma

  • This presentation explains how to apply a child-centred and trauma-informed approach to support children impacted by DFV.  It also covers how to foster reconnection and repair in the relationship between the child and their parent/caregiver.

Australian Childhood Foundation, Safe & Secure – A trauma informed practice guide for understanding and responding to children and young people affected by family violence 

  • This publication defines the basic goals that need to be met for children and young people to recover from the traumatic impacts of DFV and provides practice guidance for achieving these goals.

Child Family Community Australia, Evidence-based principles for supporting the recovery of children in care  

  • Although applied to children in care, the principles in this practitioner resource are transferable to the supports that can be considered and provided in a refuge environment.

Orygen,The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, has produced some useful resources on trauma-informed care for children and young people (aged 12 to 25).  These include:

NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian, Child Safe Standards 

  • These standards are based on the 10 child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which aim to make organisations safer for children. The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian is now responsible for the standards, in NSW, and provides advice on how to implement them.

The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Refuge for Babies in Crisis

  • This resource provides guidance on how crisis accommodation services can provide support to infants and their mothers affected by family violence.

Youth Action, NSW Youth Development Framework  

  • This covers principles (still under development) for evidence-based practice with young people.

Department of Communities and Justice, Mandatory Reporting Guide

  • Practitioners should always keep in mind their mandatory reporting obligations in the event that there is a risk of significant harm to a child or young person. Information on mandatory reporting requirements can be found on the NSW Department of Communities and Justice website at the above link.

Working together to support victim-survivors of domestic and family violence

Best practice in integrated service delivery is when multiple organisations work together to help victim-survivors access holistic support and services in a more effective and comprehensive manner. 

Working in this way delivers significantly better outcomes for victim-survivors, efficiencies for service delivery organisations, and benefits and savings throughout the entire system. 

Many organisations work, or aspire to work, in an integrated way, but it can be difficult to implement and sustain this approach in practice and there are system level barriers given the siloed and highly fragmented nature of services and funding sources. It is an established way of working that the specialist family violence sector wants to see grow and develop.

In 2020 and 2021, Social Ventures Australia, funded by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, led a collaborative project to capture and illustrate best practice integrated service delivery. 

This work was a collaboration between Social Ventures Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as part of its Next Chapter program, and social sector organisations working to improve outcomes for victim-survivors including McAuley Community Services for Women, WEstjustice, EDVOS, Muslim Women Australia’s Linking Hearts program, Domestic Violence Victoria, Homelessness NSW and InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence. 

The aim of the project was to build knowledge, resources and practical tools for organisations working at the intersection of domestic and family violence and other key specialist services required by victim-survivors (e.g. legal assistance, housing, counselling and primary care) to help organisations increase the level of integration of their services.

The project involved case studies, interviews, and reviewing selected literature to outline the benefits of integrated service delivery and provide practical insights and learnings from organisations that are working together to improve outcomes for victim-survivors of domestic and family violence. 

The learnings and recommendations from the collaboration include:

  • An overview for social sector organisations on integrated service delivery 

This document summarises the benefits of integrated service delivery and provides practical insights and learnings from organisations that are working together in this way. It is intended for use by leaders in service delivery organisations who are considering integrated practice.

DOWNLOAD THE OVERVIEW

  • A model describing how organisations can work together to support victim-survivors of family violence
    This document synthesises the experience of three organisations working in an integrated way, other input from sector stakeholders, and the recent literature to provide practical insights on how to implement and operate integrated service delivery models, and the outcomes and benefits that they provide.

DOWNLOAD THE MODEL

  • Information for Government and funding partners on how to support integrated service delivery
    This document provides an overview of the key features of integrated service delivery for use when meeting with government representatives, and potentially other funding partners. It also identifies four key areas for action where changes to government funding and system management can better enable integrated practice. Content in this document can be used for the purposes of advocacy and funding requests.

DOWNLOAD THE OVERVIEW

  • Resources to support integrated service delivery
    The documents listed in the table below are provided by the three case study organisations (McAuley Community Services for Women, EDVOS and Linking Hearts) as examples of templates and resources to support integrated service delivery. Service delivery providers may wish to adopt and adapt these resources to support integrated service delivery in their organisation. These resources have been generously shared by organisations to assist other service delivery providers in their implementation of integrated service delivery. Please adopt and adapt them as you see fit. 
Authoring organisationResource nameDescriptionRelated section of the integrated model
EDVOSAn example case management procedureEDVOS’ case management procedure outlining how holistic support is provided to victim-survivors.3.1 Elements of holistic support
VicHealthPartnerships Analysis Tool ChecklistA resource for organisations entering into or working in a partnership to assess, monitor and maximise its ongoing effectiveness (recommended and used by McAuley).3.2 Partnership infrastructure (organisational readiness)
EDVOSCost categories for integrated service deliveryPotential cost categories associated with integrated service delivery – based on examples provided by EDVOS.3.2 Partnership infrastructure (costs)
McAuley Example Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between McAuley and WEstjusticeThe Memorandum of Understanding between McAuley and WEstjustice which describes their integrated service delivery partnership.3.2 Partnership infrastructure (partnership goals and commitments)
EDVOSTemplate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)A template used by EDVOS to create a Memorandum of Understanding with their partner organisations.3.2 Partnership infrastructure (partnership goals and commitments)
McAuleyExample position description for a manager of integrated service deliveryPosition description for the Manager Community Services (Skills, Employment and Health) role — a manager role responsible for front-line service provision of McAuley’s integrated and connected services for women and children.3.2 Partnership infrastructure (partnership governance and management)
Victorian GovernmentExample of a common protocol from Victoria: Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management FrameworkThe Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework ensures Victorian services are effectively identifying, assessing and managing family violence risk (recommended and used by EDVOS).3.2 Partnership infrastructure (operational elements of the partnership)
EDVOSExample client outcomes surveyEDVOS’ Client Service Outcome Feedback Survey, designed following the Victorian Family Violence Outcome Framework (VFVOF).3.2 Partnership infrastructure (operational elements of the partnership)
Social Ventures Australia & WEstjusticeExample monitoring and evaluation framework for McAuley and WEstjusticeA monitoring and evaluation framework for WEstjustice’s Transforming Financial Security partnership with McAuley including program logic, evaluation questions, data collection plan, data collection tools and data analysis approach.3.2 Partnership infrastructure (operational elements of the partnership)
Social Ventures Australia ConsultingInformation on outcomes managementSummary information on developing an outcomes management process3.2 Partnership infrastructure (operational elements of the partnership)
McAuleyMcAuley’s service offeringA diagram that provides an overview of McAuley’s service offering.4.1 Case study on McAuley

NOTE: Here is an example of roughly what it should look like: https://www.thelookout.org.au/family-violence-workers/orientation-family-violence-practice/working-together

Please include the links that are already in there – I will upload the remaining links later.

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY

Although there is limited research regarding rates of domestic and family violence against women with disability, the weight of evidence consistently points to women with disability being at greater risk of experiencing DFV than those without disability.  It’s therefore very important for DFV services to be able to effectively support people with disability and to address any barriers they may face in accessing supports. 

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) and DVNSW have jointly produced a Disability Toolkit. It has three parts:

– Types of DFV experienced by women with disability that are not experienced by women without disability

– Barriers that women with disability encounter when accessing DFV services, and

– How to address these barriers

WWILD has produced How to Hear Me, a resource kit for counsellors and other professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities.

  • This resource covers a range of issues affecting people with intellectual disabilities, including communication, social disadvantage, discrimination and cognitive issues.  Although some of the information provided is specifically tailored towards counsellors, the resource kit also contains information that would be helpful to anyone involved in frontline service delivery to clients with intellectual disabilities.

Homelessness NSW has published Practice Guidelines for Specialist Homelessness Services Regarding Their Interface with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

  • These guidelines provide guidance for homelessness sector workers regarding how to support clients with disability, who are escaping DFV, to gain access to, and participate in, the NDIS.

The Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS) maintains a Disability Gateway website.

This website aims to assist people with disability, their families and carers, to access disability-related information and services relevant to them.  Besides the website, DSS has established a dedicated phone line (1800 643 787) and social media channels that also form part of the Disability Gateway.

‘Prevention and Early Intervention’ is one of the ten, key principles outlined in the DVNSW Good Practice Guidelines.  Although often grouped together, primary prevention and early intervention are, in fact, two separate approaches with different target groups.

‘Primary prevention’ refers to initiatives targeted at the whole population.  These are aimed at addressing the underlying drivers of DFV to prevent it from ever starting in the first place.

‘Early intervention’ (also known as ‘secondary prevention’) refers to initiatives that target individuals or groups at higher-than-average risk of either perpetrating or experiencing DFV.  Early intervention initiatives aim to stop DFV in at-risk populations.

RESOURCES

‘Primary prevention’ refers to initiatives targeted at the whole population.  These are aimed at addressing the underlying drivers of DFV to prevent it from ever starting in the first place.

The following resources may help DFV services to implement primary prevention initiatives.

Our Watch, Change The Story

Change The Story is Australia’s national framework for the primary prevention of DFV against women and their children.  Every state and territory, as well as the Commonwealth Government, is a member of Our Watch and has signed on to this framework.

The aim of the framework is to provide a consistent understanding of the principles that should guide DFV primary prevention initiatives.  This enables organisations to develop effective primary prevention policies, strategies and programs built on these principles.

The evidence base that underpins the Change The Story framework indicates that DFV is driven by gender inequality.  The framework, therefore, prescribes that primary prevention initiatives must include actions that promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life.

Change The Story specifies that an effective primary prevention initiative must be designed to do one or more of the following:

  • Challenge the condoning of violence against women
  • Promote women’s independence and decision-making
  • Challenge gender stereotypes and roles
  • Strengthen positive, equal and respectful relationships.

While Change the Story identifies the gendered drivers of DFV, it does not consider how gender insects with other factors – such as, class, race, disability, sexuality and gender diversity – in shaping both the drivers of DFV and how DFV is experienced.  It is, therefore, necessary to go beyond the Change the Story framework to design and implement prevention activities appropriately tailored to the needs and experiences of specific community groups.  There are further resources below that were developed to support prevention activities with specific communities.  These include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; culturally, linguistically and spiritually diverse communities; people with disability; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities.

Our Watch, Changing The Picture

Changing the Picture is a framework for the prevention of DFV against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children.   It presents a set of principles for organisations to undertake this prevention work in a way that is culturally safe and appropriate.  The framework identifies those actions that are most appropriately undertaken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations and those that should be the responsibility of non-Indigenous people and organisations, and of government.

Multicultural Women’s Health,Intersectionality Matters: A guide to engaging immigrant and refugee communities to prevent violence against women

This guide aims to help organisations to develop DFV prevention initiatives that are effective in including and engaging immigrant and refugee communities.  It outlines key elements for DFV prevention work with these communities, such as avoiding simplistic definitions of ‘culture’ and ensuring that the communities concerned have leadership and ownership at all stages of the work.

Women with Disabilities Victoria, Inclusive Planning Guidelines for the Prevention of Violence Against Women With Disabilities

These guidelines aim to resource violence prevention workers to work in partnership with disability and other community organisations to prevent DFV against women with disability.  They include six principles, based on a literature review and extensive consultation, which were formulated to be inclusive, practical and evidence-based.

Rainbow Health Victoria, Pride in Prevention: A guide to primary prevention of family violence experienced by LGBTIQ communities

This guide was developed to inform primary prevention work aimed at preventing DFV in LGBTIQ+ communities.  It proposes a model for understanding the drivers of DFV in these communities.  It also makes recommendations for the design and delivery of prevention activities for LGBTIQ+ communities.

NSW Health, NSW Domestic and Family Violence Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy 2017 – 2021

This is the NSW Government’s current DFV primary prevention and early intervention strategy.  It aims to inform the way not only government agencies but also non-government organisations and communities design and deliver primary prevention and early intervention activities.  It is useful in showing NSW Government focus areas.

VICTORIAN RESOURCES

The Victorian Government funds DFV primary prevention and early intervention activities to a far greater level than the level of funding available in NSW (in NSW, funding is largely concentrated on responding to DFV after it occurs, rather than on primary prevention and early intervention initiatives).  For this reason, there are many, useful prevention resources coming out of Victoria.  Useful Victorian web resources include:

Gender Equity Victoria

Gender Equity Victoria is Victoria’s peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women.  Its webpage features many useful practice resources for gender equity and DFV prevention work.

Action to Prevent Violence Against Women  

This is a resource hub established by Gender Equity Victoria to house resources specifically related to DFV prevention activities.

Respect Victoria

Respect Victoria is an independent, statutory authority in Victoria dedicated to the primary prevention of DFV.  Its webpage includes the latest research and data on DFV primary prevention to promote evidence-informed primary prevention activities.

Women’s Health Victoria

Women’s Health Victoria has a number of areas of focus, one of which is the prevention of violence against women.  This webpage outlines its work in DFV prevention and includes links to relevant publications and resources.

Partners in Prevention

Partners in Prevention supports prevention practitioners to hone their practice skills and strengthen their knowledge of the evidence base.  Its webpage hosts a useful suite of resources related to respectful relationships education.  It also features recordings of webinars related to DFV primary prevention.

Free From Violence: Victoria’s Strategy to Prevent Family Violence

Free From Violence is the Victorian Government’s strategy to prevent DFV and all forms of violence against women.  It is a comprehensive strategy that was put into place following the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, which concluded in 2015.

Preventing Family Violence and Violence Against Women Capability Framework

This capability framework outlines the foundational skill sets the Victorian Government considers that practitioners require to deliver prevention of violence against women initiatives.

COLLABORATION AND SUPPORT

If your organisation would like support in developing and implementing primary prevention activities, you may like to join the NSW Collaboration for the Primary Prevention of Gender-Based Violence.  This brings together DFV services, peak bodies, local councils, academics and the NSW Government to promote collaboration in primary prevention.  To join the group, email projects@dvnsw.org.au.

Safety planning is an essential step in working with DFV victim-survivors.  It is a process where the practitioner guides the DFV victim-survivor to consider their situation and to assess what practical measures they could implement to feel and be safer.  These measures are often written down in a safety plan document and kept somewhere safe.  

Most DFV victim-survivors will already have developed a number of strategic ways to keep themselves and any children safe, which should be incorporated into the safety plan.  The practitioner should treat each DFV victim-survivor as the expert on their own situation and the best judge of what is safe and realistic in that situation, rather than assuming they know what will work best.  

Each DFV victim-survivor’s circumstances are different.  A safety plan needs to be tailored to their personal circumstances and the particular dynamics of their DFV relationship.  Safety plans are relevant when a victim-survivor is living in a DFV relationship but also when they are preparing to leave or have left the relationship, as the most dangerous time in a DFV relationship is often when the DFV victim-survivor leaves.  However, the nature of the safety plan will be different, depending on whether or not a DFV victim-survivor is still living in the abusive relationship.  Any safety plan developed while a DFV victim-survivor was living in the abusive relationship should therefore be reviewed and adapted to their new circumstances once they leave that relationship.

There is no standard safety plan tool or template used across NSW and services tend to develop their own safety planning tools.  The following are some good quality safety planning resources to consider:

  • DV West has developed two separate safety planning handbooks, one for when the DFV victim-survivor is living in a DFV relationship and one for after they have left the relationship.  Both are available here.
  • Insight Exchange has produced My Safety Kit, which is designed to help people reflect on and understand the DFV they are experiencing as well as to start developing safety strategies.
  • Relationships Australia has published Safe From Violence: A Guide for Women Leaving or Separating.  It explains what DFV is and sources of help and support for women and provides a safety planning guide.
  • SEWACS has developed a free app, called Safe Around Me, that includes safety planning ideas and a location-aware list of local services.  (Note that practitioners should be careful about encouraging a DFV victim-survivor to use an app if they are subject to technology-facilitated abuse.  The victim-survivor should consider whether installing an app will increase risks to their safety).

Trauma-informed practice is one of the ten key principles outlined in the DVNSW Good Practice Guidelines.  The following resources may help DFV services to implement trauma-informed practice.

  • Australia’s Blue Knot Foundation has produced some world-leading guidelines, including:
    • Organisational Guidelines for Trauma-Informed Service Delivery (2020). Authors: Kezelman C.A. & Stavropoulos P.A.
    • Practice Guidelines for Clinical Treatment of Complex Trauma (2019). Authors: Kezelman C.A. & Stavropoulos P.A.

You can register to download these and other Blue Knot Foundation guidelines here

Both of these cover what trauma-informed care is and how to implement it in your organisation, including key issues to consider before, during and after implementation.

This webpage supports DFV services to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a range of up-to-date resources to help.  Resources are set out under topics that include links to useful documents developed by NSW Government departments and non-government organisations.

As the peak body representing specialist DFV services across NSW, we are also available to help with specific, COVID-related queries.  You can contact us at admin@dvnsw.org.au.

COVID MANAGEMENT PLANS

For services that receive funding from the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), the following resources have been collated to help meet Covid Management Plan contract requirements. These resources may also be useful for services that do not receive DCJ funding but are looking to develop their own Covid Management Plan.

DCJ commissioned the consultancy, Rebbeck, to develop guidance on COVID risk assessments and COVID Management Plans for all DCJ-funded service providers. The written guidance produced covers most of the COVID-related topics on this resources page and is a simple one stop shop:

https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/service-providers/guide-to-recovery-and-sector-support-for-covid-19-management#sector-support.

Additional COVID-related resources can be found below.

Covid Safety Plans

This COVID-19 Safety Plan guidance was produced for general practices and primary health service providers but may also provide useful guidance for services in other sectors: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/business/safety-plans/general-practice-template

Covid Management Plans

DCJ comprehensive written guidance for DCJ service providers preparing COVID-19 Management
Plans (this is part of the Rebbeck consultancy guidance noted above):  https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/822187/covid-19-sector-support-guidance-for-dcj-providers.pdf

DCJ training webinars and accompanying slide packs to support DCJ service providers in preparing COVID-19 Management Plans: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/service-providers/guide-to-recovery-and-sector-support-for-covid-19-management#sector-support

DCJ COVID-19 Guidelines for Residential Out-of-Home Care Settings: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/778992/dcj-covid-19-guidelines-for-oohc-services.pdf

Australian Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) factsheets and training materials that support the COVID-19 Guidelines for Residential Out-of-Home Care Settings: https://www.acwa.asn.au/guidelines-residential-care-settings-for-young-people-in-oohc-and-covid-19/

Risk Assessment

DCJ COVID-19 risk assessment template for all DCJ service providers: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/excel_doc/0009/822186/covid-19-risk-assessment-dcj-service-providers.xlsx

DCJ COVID-19 risk assessment template developed at the District-level for housing and child protection services: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/excel_doc/0019/821080/covid-19-risk-assessment-district.xlsx

NSW Council Of Social Services (NCOSS) risk assessment resources: https://www.ncoss.org.au/ncoss-covid-19-vax-risk-assessment-toolkit/

Vaccination Policies

DCJ COVID-19 management and vaccination policy for DCJ service providers: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/820238/covid-19-management-and-vaccination-policy.pdf

DCJ COVID-19 management and vaccination policy for its own locations and worksites:

https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/820507/covid-19-vaccination-policy.pdf
 
Local Community Services Association (LCSA) Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy template: https://www.lcsansw.org.au/Common/Uploaded%20files/Documents/Policies/LCSA_PP_Mandatory_COVID-19_Vaccination_Policy.docx

Local Community Services Association (LCSA) COVID-19 Safety Policy template: https://www.ncoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/LCSA-PP-COVID-19-Safety-Policy.docx

Additional resources to support and manage vaccination policy implementation

NCOSS COVID-19 Vax Risk Assessment Toolkit: https://www.ncoss.org.au/ncoss-covid-19-vax-risk-assessment-toolkit/

NCOSS Guide to Vax Risk Assessment: https://www.ncoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Guide-Vax-Risk-Assessment-3Nov2021-.pdf

NCOSS attachment to the Vax Risk Assessment Guide: https://www.ncoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/VAX-Resources-_3Nov21.pdf

NCOSS Vax Risk Assessment Worksheet: https://www.ncoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Vax-Risk-assessment-worksheet_3Nov21.xlsx

Justice Connect, legal information about managing vaccinations in the workplace: https://www.nfplaw.org.au/managing-vaccines-workplace

Business Continuity plans

Institute of Community Directors Australia guidance: https://communitydirectors.com.au/help-sheets/covid-19-restart-what-not-for-profits-should-consider-when-going-back-to-the-workplace

NSW Health factsheet: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/aod/Pages/ngo-business-continuity-considerations.aspx

GENERAL COVID SAFETY INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources

DCJ PPE Matrix describing which equipment to use in which situations: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/821395/dcj-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-matrix.pdf

DCJ, Personal Protective Equipment Quick Reference Guide: https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/download?file=821019

NSW Government list of PPE suppliers for organisations during the pandemic. https://buy.nsw.gov.au/news/2020/ppe-supplies-portal-for-industry-and-the-community

General office / service use

COVID-19 posters and signage for the workplace: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/business/covid-safe-business/toolkit

Covid Road Map

DCJ NGO Guide to Recovery detailing staged approach to reopening after lockdown: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/821078/ngo-guide-to-recovery.pdf

NSW Government, information on restrictions easing at 95% vaccination or on 15 December: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/easing-covid-19-restrictions/opening-in-dec

STAFF HEALTH & WELLBEING

DVNSW Wellbeing Webinar


NSW Health, COVID-19 mental health at work resource kit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/mental-health-at-work/mental-health-at-work-resources/resource-kits/covid-19-mental-health-at-work-resource-kit

NSW Government, Workplace Pulse Check: https://www.nsw.gov.au/mental-health-at-work/workplace-pulse-check

Homelessness NSW, workforce safety and wellbeing resources: https://rise.articulate.com/share/XA4LlyA4rmabBoO3h__7EKzGf5RsGE4X#/lessons/Wvf6kA2T5DZdBvQlDI8QOpawnhlIVE

Homelessness NSW, workforce safety and wellbeing for managers resources: https://rise.articulate.com/share/XA4LlyA4rmabBoO3h__7EKzGf5RsGE4X#/lessons/-NFUiRHfvhhDDybneWaQXl1s9dCzL6XN

Homelessness NSW, supporting client wellbeing during COVID-19 resources: https://rise.articulate.com/share/XA4LlyA4rmabBoO3h__7EKzGf5RsGE4X#/lessons/JGi56DSqPDFsCRUO80eZ3RmGzZOu7JHq

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) information

Access to DCJ Employee Assistance Program for staff of DCJ service providers:
https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/service-providers/mental-health-and-wellbeing-support#eap

Registration for access to DCJ EAP: https://www.coronavirus.dcj.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/word_doc/0003/814557/NGO-registration-form-for-access-to-EAP-services.docx

In NSW there are approximately 2,500 reports of domestic violence to the police every month – but this likely represents only 40% of actual incidents due to underreporting (NCOSS, 2020). 

Intimate partner violence 

  • 1 in 4 Australian women (23.0%) has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner since age 15 (ABS, 2017). 
  • On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner (Australian Domestic and Family Violence Review Network, 2018) 
  • Intimate partner violence contributes more to the burden than any other risk factor in women aged 18-44 years (5.1%), more than well known risk factors like tobacco use, high cholesterol or use of illicit drugs (Webster, 2016). 
  • Australian women are nearly three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner (ABS, 2017). 
  • Almost 10 women a day are hospitalised for assault injuries perpetrated by a spouse or domestic partner (AIHW, 2019). 
  • 1 in 4 Australian women (23.0%) has experienced emotional abuse by a current or former cohabiting partner (ABS, 2017). 
  • Women are more than twice as likely as men to have experienced fear or anxiety due to violence from a former partner (ABS, 2017). 
  • Intimate partner violence has serious impacts for women’s health–contributing to a range of negative health outcomes, including poor mental health, problems during pregnancy and birth, alcohol and illicit drug use, suicide, injuries and homicide (Webster, 2016). 
  • The NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team (2020) recorded that in two-thirds of all intimate partner homicides where a female was killed by a former partner, the victim and perpetrator had separated within three months of the killing and where a female was killed by a current partner in 36 per cent of cases one or both parties had indicated an intent to end the relationship within three months of the killing, concluding that the period directly after separation may be high-risk for women in relationships involving domestic and family violence. 

General Violence 

  • 1 in 3 Australian women (30.5%) has experienced physical violence since the age of 15 (ABS, 2017). 
  • 1 in 5 Australian women (18.4%) has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 (ABS, 2017). 
  • 1 in 3 Australian women (34.2%) has experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a man since the age of 15 (ABS, 2017). 
  • Almost one in 10 women (9.4%) have experienced violence by a stranger since the age of 15 (ABS, 2017). 

Young women 

  • Young women (18–24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups (ABS, 2017). 

Disability 

  • Women with disability are more likely to experience violence (ABS, 2018).  

Aboriginal  

  • 1 in 5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 15 and over has experienced physical violence in a 12-month period (ABS, 2016).  
  • Over one-third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have experienced physical violence in the year preceding 2014-15 identified an intimate partner as the perpetrator of their most recent experience of physical violence (ABS, 2016). 

LGBTQIA+ 

Although there are many similarities to experiences of domestic and family violence amongst heterosexual and cisgendered people, there are also important differences for LGBTIQA+ people; LGBTIQA+ people experience higher rates of discrimination, there are less specialised services to attend for support, and “outing” or threatening to “out” someone because of their gender or sexuality is a form of abuse which is common.  

  • One study has found that lesbian, bisexual and heteroflexible women are at least twice as likely to experience physical violence by a partner as heterosexual, cisgender women (AIHW, 2019). 

Culturally and linguistically diverse 

  • There is a lack of comprehensive, population-wide data on prevalence and impacts of violence against women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Specific studies suggest high prevalence rates and specific issues of complexity, such as partner using a woman’s temporary migrant status as a means of violence (AIHW, 2018). 

Pregnancy 

  • Women who experience partner violence during pregnancy are 3 times as likely to experience depression (Brown et al., 2015).  
  • Pregnant women assaulted by a partner are more likely to experience injury to their trunk than other women (Brown et al., 2015). 
  • Violence during pregnancy can have health consequences for babies (Brown et al., 2015). 

The impact of COVID19 on Domestic and Family Violence  

  • There is no evidence of an increase in domestic violence related assault coinciding with the introduction of strict social isolation requirements coming into effect in the last week of March 2020 and throughout April; or even beyond this as restrictions eased up to December 2020. However, there is evidence for an increase in non-criminal domestic conflict from the commencement of COVID-19 restrictions continuing into the middle of 2020 (BOCSAR, 2021).  
  • Executive Director of BOCSAR, Jackie Fitzgerald said that despite there being no clear evidence of an overall increase in domestic violence related assaults associated with the COVID restriction, the prevalence of domestic violence within the community remains high and has lasting effects on victims and their families. “The increase in police attendance to domestic arguments and disturbances following the introduction social isolation restrictions reflects the additional pressures placed on families during this period.  This is a concern given the strong association between emotional abuse and physical violence” (BOCSAR, 2021). 

BOCSAR Statistics 

  • In NSW domestic violence related assaults increased 1.1% over a 24 month period to March 2021, from 31,607 to 31,947 (BOCSAR, 2021). 
  • In NSW sexual assault increased 14.4% over a 24 month period to March 2021, from 6,444 to 7,373 (BOCSAR, 2021). 

Cost to the Australian economy 

  • The cost of violence against women is high and increasing in Australia. A report by PwC, partnering with Our Watch and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, estimates that violence against women costs $21.7 billion a year, with victims bearing the primary burden of this cost. Governments (national and State and Territory) bear the second biggest cost burden, estimated at $7.8 billion a year, comprising health, administration and social welfare costs (PwC, 2015). 
  • If no further action is taken to prevent violence against women, PwC estimate that costs will accumulate to $323.4 billion over a thirty year period from 2014-15 to 2044-45 (PwC, 2015). 
  • There is opportunity for governments to invest in preventing violence before it occurs. Evidence from other countries shows that there are significant benefits from investing in prevention. PwC estimate that if similar reductions in violence were achieved as in prevention programs overseas, the benefits would range from $37.8 billion to $74.7 billion over a lifetime (PwC, 2015). 

References 

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018), Experiences of violence and personal safety of people with disability, ABS cat. no. 4431.0.55.003, Canberra: ABS. https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4431.0.55.003  

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017), Personal Safety, Australia: Statistics for family, domestic, sexual violence, physical assault, partner emotional abuse, child abuse, sexual harassment, stalking and safety, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/personal-safety-australia/latest-release                                                                

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016), National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2014-15, Cat. No. 4714.0. Canberra: ABS. https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4714.0                       

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Review Network (2018), Data report 2018, https://coroners.nsw.gov.au/documents/reports/ADFVDRN_Data_Report_2018%20(2).pdf  

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2019). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story 2019, Cat. no FDV 3. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/personal-safety-australia/latest-release  

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia 2018. Cat. no FDV 2. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/d1a8d479-a39a-48c1-bbe2-4b27c7a321e0/aihw-fdv-02.pdf.aspx?inline=true  

Brown S, Gartland D, Woolhouse H & Giallo R (2015). Maternal Health Study policy brief 2: health consequences of family violence: translating evidence from the Maternal Health Study to inform policy and practice. Melbourne: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. https://www.mcri.edu.au/sites/default/files/media/documents/research_themes_and_groups/mhs_policy_brief_no_2.pdf  

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (2021), Media release: Domestic violence in NSW in the wake of COVID-19: Update to December 2020, https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Pages/bocsar_media_releases/2021/mr-Domestic-Violence-COVID-update-Dec2020-BB154.aspx  

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (2021), p.19, NSW Recorded Crime Statistics: Quarterly update March 2021. https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Publications/RCS-Quarterly/NSW_Recorded_Crime_March_2021.pdf  

NSW Council of Social Service (2020), NSW Budget 2020-21 Analysis: Domestic Violence, https://www.ncoss.org.au/nsw-budget-2020-21-analysis-domestic-violence/ 

NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team (2020), Report 2017-2019, NSW Government. https://coroners.nsw.gov.au/documents/reports/2017-2019_DVDRT_Report.pdf  

PwC (2015), A high price to pay: The economic case for preventing violence against women, https://www.pwc.com.au/pdf/a-high-price-to-pay.pdf  

Webster, K. (2016). A preventable burden: Measuring and addressing the prevalence and health impacts of intimate partner violence in Australian women (ANROWS Compass, 07/2016). Sydney, NSW: ANROWS. https://www.anrows.org.au/publication/a-preventable-burden-measuring-and-addressing-the-prevalence-and-health-impacts-of-intimate-partner-violence-in-australian-women-key-findings-and-future-directions/