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latest clearinghouse publications

See all Clearinghouse publications at: www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/publications.html You can be notified when Clearinghouse papers are published on our website. Just contact us on (02) 9385 2990 or subscribe online: www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/subscribe.html

Other resources Practice Monograph

ààZannettino L, Pittaway E, Eckert R, Bartolomei L, Ostapiej-

trauma panel wrap-up

Piatkowski B, Allimant A and Parris J 2013, Improving responses to refugees with backgrounds of multiple

trauma: Pointers for practitioners in domestic and family violence, sexual assault and settlement service, Practice Monograph 1 http://www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au/ research_reports.htm

Research and Practice Brief

ààBraaf R & Barrett Meyering I 2013, Reading statistics: a

guide for professionals working with domestic and family violence, Research and Practice Brief 4

communities working to reduce indigenous family violence

http://www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au/ researchandpractice.htm.

Fast Facts

ààTrijbetz T 2013, Domestic and family violence and people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, Fast Facts 11 www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/fast_facts.htm (TBC)

good practice principles for working with cald women

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newsletter

Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse The University of New South Wales, NSW Australia 2052 T +61 2 9385 2990 freecall 1800 753 382 F +61 2 9385 2993 E clearinghouse@unsw.edu.au www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

Summer / 2013-2014

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newsletter


inside 2 welcome 3 clearinghouse update 4 trauma panel wrap-up 6 feature: communities working to reduce indigenous family violence 8 interview: dr lesley laing 11 good practice notes 13 book review: a troubled marriage 15 new initiatives 18 recent additions to the research and resources database 20 latest clearinghouse publications

WELCOME Welcome to our Spring Newsletter. In this issue we feature articles about Indigenous community responses to family violence, trauma-informed practice, legal responses to domestic violence, and a range of other updates and reports. We hope you enjoy reading these contributions and as always, your comments and feedback are appreciated. From January 2014, the new National Centre of Excellence (NCE) takes over responsibility for analysis and dissemination of domestic violence research and information. This means the ADFVC will begin transitioning some services to the NCE and ceasing others, so that after Christmas you will start to notice changes occurring in our output and public face. This marks the end of an era for the ADFVC and we approach the moment with some sadness mixed with optimism for a strong future, for the continuation of clearinghouse services through the NCE. More information is provided in our update section on this page. With this transition about to happen the next (summer) newsletter will be our last, as the NCE looks to establish other forms of communication with the sector. We will devote this upcoming final issue to reflections on more than a decade of DFV reforms since the Clearinghouse was established in 2000. What changes and developments in our knowledge-base about domestic and family violence have we seen, and what are the key issues for Australia in continuing to move forward? Key authors and researchers from across the country have been invited to give a State based perspective and the Clearinghouse will provide a national overview. Keep an eye on our e-news for an invitation to contribute your own thoughts. In the meantime, enjoy this issue and remember you can access further information through our website: www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au. Facebook.com/ADFVC @ADFVC_info

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Contributions The Clearinghouse welcomes submissions from service workers, researchers and individuals. If you wish to submit an article or review, please email a one paragraph outline to the address below. We will provide you with feedback and discuss a deadline for submission.

Subscriptions For a free subscription to the Clearinghouse Newsletter or our other publications, please phone, fax or email us, or subscribe online at – www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/subscribe.html For more information contact the Clearinghouse at –

Email: clearinghouse@unsw.edu.au Ph: (02) 9385 2990 Fax: (02) 9385 2993

The views expressed in this Newsletter do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse or the Australian ISSN Print: 1443-7236 ISSN Online: 1838-7101 © 2013 Design/Printing: Print Post Plus (P3)

Government. While all reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no liability is assumed for any errors or omissions. The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The Clearinghouse is a project of the Centre for Gender-Related Violence Studies, at the University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences.

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

Publication Information


clearinghouse update Important announcement about changes to the ADFVC during 2014

Read ADFVC’s media release in full

Clearinghouse webinars

http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/

This year the Clearinghouse has

documents/MEDIARELEASE-

been running a series of lunchtime

NCEAnnouncement.pdf

webinars for our stakeholders.

to reduce violence against women

More information on the NCE’s

We have received overwhelmingly

and their children (the NCE)

position can be found here:

positive feedback about this new

was established in early 2013

http://www.adfvc.unsw.

format, which has allowed people

by the Federal Government, in

edu.au/documents/

from around the country to join in and

collaboration with state and territory

NCECHcommunicationfinal.pdf

gain timely access to information on

governments. The NCE’s brief is to

Read ACSSA’s update on the NCE:

important topics of interest. For those

The National Centre of Excellence

develop a national research agenda in the area of violence against women which reflects the research priorities of the Commonwealth, states and territories, and will lead to the significant advancement

http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/ alert/2013/alertnews20130926.html All three releases can be accessed directly from our homepage www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

of capabilities and knowledge of violence against women and their

who were unable to join the webinars as they ran live, we have uploaded the presenters’ slides so you can access these on our webpage http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/ events_calendar.html Clearinghouse webinars to date have

asked us to continue delivering some

Trauma, trauma frameworks and being “trauma-informed”

services on their behalf during 2014,

In August the Clearinghouse hosted

while they gradually establish their

a forum about trauma-informed

staff and offices. For the time being

practice, jointly convened with the

therefore our website (incorporating

Australian Centre for the Study of

the databases and resources) and

Sexual Assault (ACSSA). We invited

the e-news will continue, while the

an assembled panel of experts in

newsletter, special issues papers

the area to address the topic: ‘In

and webinars will cease, with other

what ways can service interventions

services and products still to be

re-traumatise survivors of previous

decided. As a result of these changes

trauma?’ The panel discussed a range

a number of staff will be leaving

of issues around dealing with trauma

the Clearinghouse at the end of

and the need to be ‘trauma-informed’

December with only a small, part time

in practice situations, before a Q&A

group remaining in 2014, to complete

session allowed audience members

the transition of certain functions to

to get involved in teasing out various

the NCE. The work of all staff past and

themes, including: how trauma affects

present at the ADFVC is recognised

the body and mind; how to recognise

by many as a significant contribution

and address the impacts of trauma

to practitioners, researchers and

in young children; how services

refugee women resist violence

policy makers. This moment should

may inadvertently replicate power

and demonstrate resilience in the

not pass without an acknowledgment

differentials and practices that can

context of domestic and/or sexual

of their considerable skills, knowledge

re-traumatise clients; and what needs

violence.

and commitment to improving

to happen to ensure that services

Australia’s response to domestic and

become ‘trauma-informed’.

children. The NCE is developing a clearinghouse function and has

thank you to each and every one.

Read more about the trauma event on page 4. Videos from the forum can

We will provide further information

also be watched online:

about the transition to the NCE as

http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/

changes occur.

other_publications.htm.

The impact of domestic violence on children: an overview of the key new ideas and evidence

ààbrain development and the impact of complex trauma, such as

domestic and family violence

ààunderstanding children’s

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behaviours and difficulties using the new knowledge base about the impacts of trauma

ààpractice implications àà‘good news stories’ – brain

plasticity, therapies and further training opportunities.

How immigrant and refugee women resist violence

ààIdentifying, acknowledging and

honouring the way immigrant and

A critical look at primary prevention as a strategy to prevent violence against women

ààhow has VAW come to be associated so strongly with public health?

ààwhat are the strengths and

weaknesses of this approach?

ààhow can we know prevention is working?

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

family violence. So, a big heartfelt

been about:


trauma panel wrap-up trauma, trauma frameworks and being ‘trauma-informed’ by Tahlia Trijbetz, Research Assistant, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse

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There is increasing evidence of the need for services

working to decrease power imbalances which may

to be trauma-informed when working with survivors of

trigger previous experiences of disempowerment or

domestic and family violence, sexual abuse and sexual

powerlessness.

assault. This means developing an understanding of

Jackie Burke, the Clinical Director of Rape and Domestic

the impacts and presentations of trauma, but also how

Violence Services Australia, formerly NSW Rape Crisis

to limit any likelihood that services will re-traumatise

Centre, pointed out that it is extremely easy to replicate

or exacerbate the effects of traumatic experiences for

the dynamics of abuse when in the process of service

clients.

provision. When someone is seeking assistance from a

In August, the Clearinghouse jointly hosted, with the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, a Q&A-style forum on trauma and working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Dr Cathy Kezelman, President of Adults Surviving Child Abuse, kicked off the forum, reminding us that trauma is ‘part of the human condition’, but that difficulties arise when people are unable to move on from traumatic experiences. She emphasised that trauma is not being adequately acknowledged or addressed by service providers, and people risk being re-traumatised in services as they ‘ricochet around the system’.

service, that service is inherently more powerful than the individual. Service support predominantly takes place in a one-on-one relationship, which may draw parallels to the original situation of abuse. Even confidentiality between the client and service provider can mirror the secrecy involved in abusive relationships. Paul Morgan, a Child Protection Counsellor from Sydney Children’s Hospital, discussed a variety of issues including the importance of understanding the impact a carer’s experiences of violence, including psychological abuse, can have on their ability to develop a safe and secure relationship with their child. Understanding how complex trauma ‘derails human development’, particularly in early

Cathy emphasised that ‘the neuroscience absolutely

childhood, is imperative in trauma-informed practice.

substantiates’ that recovery from traumatic experiences

Developmental disruptions may lead to hyper-vigilance

is indeed possible, so support that services offer could

and arousal in babies, concentration problems or

newsletter .54

be taking a far more active role in facilitating this process of recovery. A key aspect of trauma-informed practice

“If we’re going to be trauma-informed, let’s get real and

involves recognising the strengths, resilience and coping

talk about this whole thing and then start to think about

strategies children and adults who’ve experienced trauma

how we impact in every way…to change the country, the

use to survive. According to Cathy, trauma-informed

society, the communities that we live in, the families that

service providers assume the position of ‘collaborator’,

we live in…” – Judy Atkinson


diagnoses of ADHD. Paul works with an occupational therapist to develop creative, interactive strategies such as physical, play-based activities, because ‘just using words and verbal therapies is not going to address the sort of disintegrative process that happens when trauma is experienced pre-verbally’. Shaun Coade, Senior Manager of Aboriginal Service Development at Berry Street Childhood Institute, offered a different understanding of attachment. In Indigenous communities, single attachment bonds are perhaps less significant than ‘attachment networks’, since multiple carers may be involved in raising children. Shaun discussed the importance of ‘Healing’ the client, the family and the extended family, integrating cultural systems with the principles of trauma-informed practice. He said it is extremely important ‘families are involved in the decisionmaking, the planning and parts of the intervention’. The ‘Yarning Up’ approach to trauma work involves ‘informing and educating the systems that work with the individual and the family’ and ‘sharing knowledge about the experience of trauma through the eyes of the child’.

“Trauma-informed practice is the best human practice” – forum participant Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer of We Al-li, shared her extensive professional and personal experience with Aboriginal communities. She described violence in Australian history since colonisation, ‘embedded within the stories of Aboriginal people…quite often untold stories’. Judy emphasised the positive impact of identifying and validating a community’s experiences of trauma: complex trauma, developmental trauma in children and inter-generational trauma. Healing and recovery from trauma must happen at individual, family and community levels. For service providers in this area, this means understanding the broader cultural and social contexts in which these traumas occurred. This includes the education system, the clergy, criminal justice, policy and social welfare services. The Clearinghouse and ACSSA are grateful to all panellists and invited guests for participating in this important forum. The event’s success is a testament to your generous

“From the second you engage with someone, you

contributions.

approach their humanity and you approach their

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to visit the

spirit” – forum participant

ADFVC website and view the filmed presentations at http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/other_publications.htm

Dr Elspeth McInnes AM, School of Education, University of South Australia, also discussed ways of engaging children in healing processes. Elspeth uses classroom based resources to give children a comfortable, safe space to explore their experiences and foster healthy development. She spoke about ‘Play is the Way’, a

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hands-on approach that gives children the opportunity to learn to relate to each other, socially and emotionally. Kimochis (Japanese plush toys that come with ‘feeling’ words) are also an effective tool to help children develop a vocabulary around expressing feelings. Elspeth has found these holistic resources effective with very difficult behaviours and distressed students.

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au


feature article Communities working to reduce Indigenous family violence In their 2012 brief for the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Kyllie Cripps and Megan Davis described a range of programs to reduce Indigenous family violence. They concluded that Indigenous communities are working hard, often despite immense odds, to tackle the problem of violence within their communities; and though few evaluations of Indigenous specific programs exist, those that do, reveal that through genuine partnerships, a sense of community ownership, and participation in the design and delivery of programs, the receptiveness of communities is increased. Some examples of promising programs described by Cripps and Davis are reproduced here.

FAMILY VIOLENCE: DEFINITION

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The term ‘family violence’ in an Indigenous context is used to describe the range of violence that takes place in Indigenous communities including the physical, emotional, sexual, social, spiritual, cultural, psychological and economic abuses that may be perpetrated within a family. The term also recognises the broader impacts of violence; on extended families, kinship networks and community relationships. It has also been used in the past decade to encompass acts of self-harm and suicide, and has become widely adopted as part of the shift towards addressing intra-familial violence in all its forms.

violence and/or sexual assault in the form of legal services, information, counselling, referral and practical support. They may also undertake preventative initiatives, such as community education and awareness programs. There are currently 29 FVPLS units, 26 of which are located in very remote, rural or outer regional areas across Australia. Given that 70 per cent of the Indigenous population resides in urban and large regional settings, several bodies have recommended that similar services be offered in urban areas.

Balgo Women’s Law Camp The Balgo Women’s Law Camp, a highly regarded cultural initiative established in 2007 by the Kapululangu

Indigenous communities are more vulnerable to violence

Aboriginal Women’s Association, is a composite program

and more likely to be victims of violence than any other

that aims to use Aboriginal law and culture and community

section of Australian society. Available evidence clearly

development theory to tackle violence. The Law Camp

establishes that there is no single factor, but rather a

was a response both to intergenerational violence in

multitude of interrelated factors that contribute to the

the community and the Northern Territory Emergency

occurrence of family violence in Indigenous communities.

Response. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social

Significant attention has been drawn to the relationship

Justice Commissioner reported that the Camp has had a

between the disruption and distress attributable to

positive impact on the community and especially women,

colonisation, dispossession and the removal of Indigenous

who found it empowering to work towards finding solutions

children from their families, and Indigenous experiences of

to the problems in the community (HREOC 2008).

violence. to experience socio-economic disadvantage including

Aboriginal Family and Community Healing Program

unemployment, welfare dependency and overcrowding in

The Aboriginal Family and Community Healing Program,

households. Physical and mental health issues, low self-

delivered by the Central Northern Adelaide Health

esteem, a sense of powerlessness, and destructive coping

Service, included a structured eight-week family

behaviours including substance abuse, may be additional

wellbeing course for women, a men’s group, individual

contributing factors to the incidence of family violence.

counselling and camps. An evaluation found that the

All of these experiences, separately but especially in

program met its primary objectives of: building community

combination, are risk factors for family violence. (See

capacity to support safe families; improving participants’

further Al-Yaman et al. 2006; Cripps 2007).

communication and conflict resolution skills; supporting

In addition, Indigenous people are much more likely

Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Legal Services newsletter .54

appropriate and holistic assistance to victims of family

Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS) have played an important role in addressing the needs of victims of family violence. They provide culturally

families in crisis; and building the capacity of mainstream agencies (Kowanko & Power 2008). Its strengths included its holistic approach and Aboriginal cultural focus (Kowanko et al. 2009).


Mawul Rom Mawul Rom may be a promising initiative in developing practices and processes to respond to family violence using mediation. The Mawul Rom Project, which began in 2004, is a collaboration between the Yolngu people and non-Indigenous alternative dispute resolution experts. Through ceremony, discussion, education and performance, Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants learn about dispute resolution, cross-cultural decision making, mediation and leadership skills. Participants have returned to their communities and applied these skills to community problems, including family violence (HREOC 2008). No formal evaluation has been conducted, but the Mawul Rom program was recently accredited as a Masters program by Charles Darwin University.

Night Patrols Night patrols are common in the Northern Territory, and also exist under different names in most other states in

The Yuendumu Women’s Centre, a community-controlled organisation founded by Aboriginal women in the late 1970s, established a safe house in 2003 to address escalating violence in the community. The Social Justice Commissioner has recognised the Yuendumu Safe House as a ‘promising practice’ in reducing violence. It is ‘well respected and valued’ by community members who view it as a community owned and conceived solution to violence (HREOC 2008: 158-159). This example reinforces the view supported by substantial literature that communitybased initiatives aimed at reducing violence, where the community exercises a degree of ownership over the establishment, development and operation of programs, are more likely to be successful (Memmott 2001; Keel 2004; HREOC 2008). The support of men in the community is also emphasised as critical to the success of safe houses, as is the support of the police (HREOC 2008).

who routinely patrol the main street, keeping an eye on

Common Factors for Effective Family Violence Program Design

community members affected by alcohol. The object is

Qualitative evidence suggests that effective programs

Australia. Night patrols involve a group of volunteers

not to remove intoxicated persons from the streets but to resolve problems and settle disputes before they escalate and potentially draw in extended families or entire tribal groupings. However if violence has already taken place, the night patrol will transport victims to refuges or medical centres, and perpetrators to sobering up shelters (Curtis 1993). Critical to the success of night patrols is police support; but police must also have a physical presence in maintaining law and order in the community (Higgens 1997). Community members reported that the presence of a patrol in combination with a safe house had reduced and prevented family violence (Blagg & Valuri 2003). More recent evaluations confirm that night patrols are highly valued across the Northern Territory, and that communities view them as directly contributing to improvements in community safety. The importance of community involvement and support, and good relationships between the police and night patrols were highlighted as critical to the success of patrols. However it has been noted that in building relationships with local police, it is important that patrols maintain a distinct and culturally appropriate contribution to crime prevention and community support

require the involvement of Indigenous communities in defining the problem and its context, and in setting the parameters for how to engage with the issue(s). Interventions can then be developed by and for the community in which they operate so that they recognise and respect Indigenous diversity, embrace Indigenous cultural values, and foster community engagement in decision-making processes. Overall, this would ensure that the community is vested in the issue, the intervention and its outcomes. The type of interventions that have consistently been identified as being most effective in responding to family violence are those designed to be flexible and holistic in their approach, responding to the multiplicity of factors contributing to the occurrence of violence and to the many people affected by it (HREOC 2008). It is widely recognised that the skills and resources needed to respond to problems associated with family violence involve multiple professionals and organisations, who must work in partnership towards the mutual goals of healing individuals, families and communities, breaking the cycle of violence and creating safer, healthier, nurturing

rather than becoming a de facto police service (AIC 2011;

environments.

ANAO 2011).

Excerpts taken from: Cripps K and Davis M:

Shelter / Protection Programs Sobering up shelters are predominantly aimed at men violence. Safe houses provide safe places for women and children when escaping violence. As well as accommodation, they provide activities that promote and build the capacity of women and children to make informed decisions about their safety and healing options (Australian National Homelessness Strategy & Qld. Department of Communities 2004).

Communities working to reduce Indigenous family violence, Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Brief 12, June 2012. The brief is available online in its entirety: http://www.indigenousjustice.gov.au/briefs/brief012.pdf REFERENCES Al-Yaman F, Van Doeland M & Wallis M 2006. Family violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Cat. no. IHW 17. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Continued over page

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

affected by alcohol who are potential perpetrators of

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interview In conversation with Dr Lesley Laing, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney Inara Walden, Senior Researcher, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse Lesley Laing was the founding director of the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, appointed by the Centre for Gender Related Violence Studies at the University of New South Wales in 2000. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, where her domestic violence research explores women’s experiences of navigating complex service systems, such as the mental health and Family Law systems. Lesley has practised social work in the fields of community health, child and family mental health and child protection, and was director of the Education Centre Against Violence for 12 years where she was responsible for the development of state-wide training for health workers responding to domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and neglect. Lesley has a new book out with Cathy Humphries and Kate Cavanagh: Social Work and Domestic Violence: Developing Critical and Reflective Practice.

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Lesley spoke to Inara about her recent research into women’s experiences of seeking legal protection orders.

What were your main aims in carrying out this research?

The full project report is available online: Laing (2013) ‘It’s

Protection orders have been a cornerstone of the response to

like this maze that you have to make your way through.’

domestic violence for 30 years, yet there has been very limited

Women’s experiences of seeking a domestic violence

research about their accessibility and effectiveness, and even

protection order in NSW – http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/

less from the perspective of the women who attempt to use

bitstream/2123/9267/2/It%27s%20like%20this%20maze.pdf

them to seek protection for themselves and their children.

Continued from previous page Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) 2011. Chapter 5: Promoting law and order, in Australia, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Northern Territory Emergency Response Evaluation Report.

newsletter .54

Australia. National Homelessness Strategy & Qld. Department of Communities 2004. Safe House Project Report: Sustainable Service Responses to Family Violence in Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in North Queensland. Canberra: Department of Family and Community Services.

Higgens D & Associates 1997. A Report to the Office of Aboriginal Development: Best Practice for Aboriginal Community Night Patrols and Warden Schemes. Perth: Office of Aboriginal Development Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) 2008. Social Justice Report 2007. Sydney: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Keel M 2004. Family Violence and sexual assault in Indigenous communities: ‘walking the talk’. Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (ACSSA) Briefing no. 4. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Blagg H & Valuri G 2003. An Overview of Night Patrol Services in Australia. Canberra: Crime Prevention Branch, Attorney-General’s Department.

Kowanko I & Power C 2008. CNAHS Family and Community Healing Program Final External Evaluation Report. Adelaide: Flinders University.

Cripps K 2007. Indigenous family violence: From emergency measures to committed long term action. Australian Indigenous Law Review 11(2): 7–1

Kowanko I, Stewart T, Power C, Fraser R, Love I & Bromley T 2009. An Aboriginal family and community healing program in metropolitan Adelaide: Description and evaluation. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin 9(4): 1-12

Curtis D 1993. Julalikari Council’s Community Night Patrol. Aboriginal justice issues: proceedings of a conference held 23-25 June 1992. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology Conference: 73-78

Memmott P, Stacy R, Chambers C & Keys C 2001. Violence in Indigenous communities: full report. Barton: Crime Prevention Branch, Attorney-General’s Department.


Funded by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, this study sought to find out how women experience the processes involved in seeking a protection order in NSW. This involved consideration of the extent to which women affected by domestic violence are able to:

àà participate effectively in the legal system àà obtain legal assistance (information, advice and legal representation)

Were there particular challenges confronting CALD or Aboriginal women you spoke to? Women’s social locations, such as those based on Aboriginality or immigration status (whether women were from CALD communities or had migrated from English speaking countries), provided additional complexity and barriers to legal protection. When the cases involving unsuccessful applications were explored, there was a

àà obtain non-legal support and advocacy.

similar pattern of complex factors associated with social

What motivated the women you interviewed to take out a protection order? Why might women be cautious in using the law to deal with domestic violence?

CALD recent immigrant women; two involved Aboriginal

Consistent with other research and contrary to the common

and one woman’s protracted matter crossed the civil,

belief that women apply for protection orders on frivolous

family and criminal legal systems.

or vexatious grounds, the women in this study described

Some Aboriginal women reported that service providers’

situations of abuse that were severe and ongoing. Many

negative stereotypes about Aboriginal people could be

of the narratives contained examples of high risk factors

a formidable barrier to accessing protection. Given the

such as: a context of separation, sexual assault, non-fatal

history of poor Aboriginal /police relationships, some of the

strangulation and controlling behaviours. Children were

women also found family and community attitudes to their

both exposed to violence towards their mothers and in

approaching police for assistance a further barrier to using

some cases to direct abuse by the domestic violence

the law. On a positive note, some of the Aboriginal women

perpetrator. Women sought legal protection when they

reported that barriers such as these could be overcome

recognised that the abuse was escalating, often because

when services offered assertive outreach, fostered mutual

of a particular incident of violence and because they had

support between women and provided long-term support

‘had enough’. Protecting their children was another strong

and advocacy that included, but was not confined, to legal

driver of women seeking legal protection. Some wanted

matters.

to let their partner know that the abusive behaviour was wrong, and others were encouraged to take action through support and information from both formal and informal supports. Taking this step into the formal service system was both motivated and inhibited by fear: fear for their lives, and fear of retaliation, of making things worse, of harming their partner and of handing control for ‘managing’ the situation to an unknown system.

How important is the role of police response? Were there particular examples of excellent responses and if so, what worked well? What types of needs did the women identify? The women had typically experienced domestic violence over a considerable period of time before seeking help. Hence the initial response, when they approached the formal service system, was crucial to their decision-making about help-seeking. Police officers who demonstrated understanding of the complexities of domestic violence

location and/or intersecting legal systems: two involved women; one woman was from a remote rural location and was dealing with intersecting civil, child protection and Family Law systems; one had a diagnosed mental illness;

Immigrant women, whose first language was not English, faced additional barriers to understanding complex systems and accessing legal support and were vulnerable

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to the perpetrator tactics such as visa abuse.

What other barriers were encountered / identified? As already discussed, women who were engaged in multiple legal systems – the civil, criminal, Family Law and child protection systems – encountered additional barriers as they navigated poorly integrated systems. For example, one woman was advised to accept a counter protection order to finalise the matter in the local court, only to find that this worked against her in Family Law proceedings. Women engaged simultaneously in the family law and protection systems encountered scepticism about their claims of domestic violence in both systems. These were frequently viewed as tactics to enhance the outcomes of their family law matter. Another barrier reported by women arose because of

in deciding to take action, provided important support and

previous occasions on which they had not been ready

validation to women. Some of the women reported that

or able, for a variety of reasons (including the danger

proactive police action in taking out the protection order

and interference posed by the perpetrator), to pursue

helped them to get past their fear of taking action. Women

legal protection. Unfortunately, these previous decisions

valued being treated with courtesy and respect and most

could subsequently become barriers to their accessing

importantly, emphasized the importance of being provided

assistance when they were ready to take this step. These

with timely and accurate information about the legal

barriers comprised, for example, unhelpful police attitudes,

process and other supports.

a paucity of evidence of long-term violence, or the ability of the perpetrator to exploit the woman’s prior non-disclosure

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

and were patient with the process that women go through


of the abuse in order to escape accountability. For women in rural and remote areas, distance from services provided additional barriers in seeking protection.

You asked your interviewees ‘Was it worth it?’ What sort of response did you get to that question? The answers to this question were not straight forward. Women’s perceptions of the value of attempting to obtain legal protection from domestic violence were complex. At each extreme, there were women who were clear either that the experience was worth it and empowering or that the whole exercise was futile. Most women, however, expressed a range of reactions, depending on factors associated with both the outcome of their application, and the ways in which they had experienced the processes involved, including the nature of their encounters with various service providers. Women valued service providers who provided legal and non-legal support and advocacy and who partnered with them on their journey through the system. They highlighted the importance of receiving support and advocacy from a wide range of personnel and agencies, both inside and outside the legal system. Women spoke unreservedly about the support provided through the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) and the importance of the ‘safe room’ at court, and the benefits of being linked into specialist women’s and domestic violence services which offered broader and longer-term advocacy and support.

newsletter .54

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A key theme identified in the research was that the women ‘struggled to be heard’. Can you explain what that meant? This was a theme that recurred at a number of stages of the women’s journeys beginning with initial encounters with police, where there often appeared to be a mismatch between police understandings of domestic violence (which emphasised discrete incidents and physical assault rather than a pattern of behaviours) and the ways in which women tried to talk about their experiences of abuse and their reasons for seeking legal protection. The sense of not being heard was exacerbated for women in court when the vast number of matters dealt with left them with minimal (or no) opportunity to meet with the police prosecutor. This can also impact on the quality of protection offered by an order if the conditions are not adequately tailored to the woman’s situation. A further contributor to women’s sense of not being heard was the very short time allocated in court to their matter – in contrast to the amount of time women had to commit to being available at court, and the number of occasions on which they had to attend court.

Finally, as founding director of the Clearinghouse, do you have any reflections on the state of domestic and family violence research and practice in Australia today? I am extremely proud to have been associated with the Clearinghouse which I believe has ably fulfilled its role as

Similarly, the concept and meaning of safety was not

a valuable information resource to practitioners in both

straight forward. For example, the reaction to obtaining a

service provision and policy. It has gathered, critiqued

protection order and a woman’s assessment of her level of

and distilled domestic and family violence research and

safety often depended on factors such as whether or not

practice developments in usable formats for its many

the conditions of the order had been tailored to meet the

audiences. I hope that the wealth of expertise that has

woman’s needs, the woman’s confidence in the likelihood

been developed over more than a decade is able to

of the police enforcing breaches and the woman’s

be incorporated into the NCE and that the strong links

knowledge of the level of danger posed by the perpetrator

with practitioners and policy makers are maintained and

and his respect, or not, for the law.

strengthened under the new governance arrangements.


good practice notes GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLES FOR WORKING WITH REFUGEE WOMEN EXPERIENCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE By Rebecca Eckert, Good Practice Officer, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse This article draws on insights by contributors to our recently published paper ‘Improving responses to refugees with backgrounds of multiple trauma: pointers for practitioners in domestic violence, sexual assault and settlement services’. To read the paper in full please visit the ADFVC website www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au. Working with refugee women who are survivors of domestic violence is a complex area of practice. The principles shared here represent the beginning, not the end of the conversation on good practice in this area. Whilst not exhaustive, it is hoped the principles can be used to strengthen and further inform the work of services in this area. All of the principles suggested are oriented within a rights-based approach: the need to consider violations of women as an abuse of rights, and to ensure that practice centres on the acknowledgement, maintenance and restoration of these rights. The focus is to prioritise the voices and power of women. Although this article focuses on responses to women and families, it is important to acknowledge that in order for good practice to be effective, it must also consider and take into account the need for prevention, education and effective work with men and perpetrators of violence.

Recognising refugee women’s pre-arrival experience and its impacts Good practice principle: Workers should have knowledge and understanding of refugee women’s pre-arrival experiences, and consider these when developing responses.

Understanding women’s settlement experiences Good practice principle: Workers should be aware of the compounding impacts of challenges and risks faced by women in the settlement context and the possibility that these may increase the vulnerability of women to experience further violence and present barriers to their accessing appropriate supports. Settlement in Australia brings hope for a safe future but can also be fraught with considerable challenges and often risks of further violence and abuse for women. Women may have limited or no access to new social networks or support. They may struggle to access information about their rights and the legal structures and systems designed to protect them here in Australia. Many women experience significant isolation. This, together with the practical stressors of settlement can leave some women vulnerable to further violence. Settlement services play a key role in supporting women and are often a first point of contact for women experiencing domestic violence. It is important however that workers across all sectors are aware of these experiences, and that agencies work closely in their support and responses to women.

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Collaboration within and across sectors Good practice principle: Cross-sector collaboration and multi-agency responses should be promoted to ensure a more integrated response to women’s needs. Cross-sectoral collaboration and multi-agency responses are required to respond most effectively to the needs of refugee women experiencing domestic violence. Depending on the stage of their settlement and rapport built with individual workers, women may engage first with settlement services before being referred to specialist domestic violence services. As such, integrated responses are essential. The development of appropriate responses to the needs of women who have multiple experiences

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

Domestic violence and its impacts must be considered in the context of complex and often long histories of displacement and trauma which refugee women and their families have experienced. Women have often been subject to significant torture and trauma, including severe sexual and gender-based violence. Many have spent long periods of time, some upwards of 15-20 years, in dangerous conditions in refugee camps and urban areas in countries of asylum. Others may have sought asylum onshore in Australia and spent time in detention. The compounding impacts of these experiences on women and their relationships with their families must be considered when responding to survivors of domestic violence. These experiences may lead women to feel shame, experience stigmatisation and be ostracised from their families and communities. It may also make it more challenging for women to seek and find support and to feel comfortable disclosing their experiences. By being familiar with and aware of these experiences, workers can plan

their responses to most effectively and appropriately meet the needs of women and their families.


of trauma is unlikely without agencies from settlement services, torture and trauma services, sexual violence and domestic and family violence services working together, and without input from women themselves.

Use of interpreters Good practice principle: Women should always be offered the opportunity to use an appropriate interpreter. Workers should receive training in the use of interpreters.

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Ensuring women have access to opportunities to communicate their needs and experiences clearly, and in an informed and empowered way, is essential in ensuring their wellbeing and safety. Access to well-trained interpreters is crucial. Interpreters should be female where requested, fluent in the women’s language of choice, and be aware of and responsive to the nature of the discussion required. Workers should check to ensure the interpreter is someone with whom the woman feels comfortable. Some women may be uncertain about disclosing their experiences if there is a possibility they will be judged, or their experiences will become known to others in their community. Family members should never be used to interpret in these types of exchanges. Working with interpreters is a skill and training in this area is essential. Interpreters should be well briefed on the expectations of their role, including confidentiality and the possible content of the discussions to be held. Where possible and appropriate, interpreters should also be offered the opportunity to debrief.

Engagement of refugee communities Good practice principle: Services should work with and draw on the knowledge and expertise of refugee communities when developing responses to domestic and family violence. Programs developed in partnership with and led by refugee communities themselves have proven to be highly successful in both the prevention of and effective response to domestic violence. Services can play a critical role in sharing their information and knowledge about Australian laws and systems, and in working in partnership with refugee communities. It is important that practices are focused on sharing power and tailoring responses to the needs of women using appropriate strategies as defined by the community. Models of service delivery from mainstream understandings of domestic violence need to be flexibly interpreted for the local community context and approach.

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Recognising the resilience of women Good practice principle: Supporting and recognising the resilience of refugee women and their families is essential to all practice with refugee communities. This can be achieved by adopting a rights-based approach to practice which focuses on respect, dignity and the strength and participation of women.

Refugee women show their resilience and find resilience in many different ways. All responses should work to celebrate and recognise this resilience, whilst also promoting practices which empower women to have control over their lives and the decisions which affect their wellbeing. This can be done through recognising the experiences women have survived prior to their arrival and continue to survive in settlement. It can also be achieved by acknowledging and identifying the different skills, strengths and knowledge women have and working with them to develop solutions and responses to their concerns. Having control over their lives, self-determination and being able to make well-informed decisions for themselves is critical to all responses.

Building trust, rapport and credibility Good practice principle: Time to build trust, rapport and earn credibility with women is essential. Practice which focuses on building trust and rapport, and earning credibility is essential when working with all survivors of domestic violence. For refugee women, this aspect is particularly critical. Women’s pre-arrival experiences of torture and trauma, including abuse at the hands of police, government officials and workers who were meant to protect them, means that it will often be more challenging for them to form trusting relationships with services. It may be necessary for workers to spend longer periods of time than usual with some clients to earn this trust and build a relationship. Showing an understanding of the women’s experiences and respecting the approach and pace at which they wish to share their experiences is essential. Where safe and appropriate, women may prefer to be visited in their home rather than be seen to visit services. Confidentiality is a key part of this process and workers must spend time explaining Australian notions of confidentiality and how they are applied in this professional relationship.

Being culturally responsive Good practice principle: workers should be culturally responsive and respectful in all aspects of their practice. Refugee women come from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. They bring with them considerable knowledge and strengths, much of which is connected to their cultural background. It is important that workers be aware of and responsive to people’s cultural beliefs and backgrounds, but also avoid stereotypes which can inhibit women’s ability to seek assistance. Whilst there may be particular cultural considerations to take into account when developing responses for women, violence itself is not culturally determined. Exploring the role of culture and its meaning to women can however be an important way of building trust and rapport and ensuring that practices are delivered in a culturally responsive way which works best to meet women’s needs and ensure their safety. Monitoring the effect of one’s own cultural values and responses is a key part of this.


book review A TROUBLED MARRIAGE By Jane Wangmann, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Leigh Goodmark 2012. A troubled marriage: domestic violence and the legal system, New York University Press, New York. Leigh Goodmark’s book, A troubled marriage: domestic violence and the legal system, challenges us to question the centrality of law as the response to domestic violence. As an Associate Professor of Law, Director of Clinical Education and Co-Director of the Center on Applied Feminism in the School of Law at the University of Baltimore, Goodman has written widely about legal responses to domestic violence in the United States (US). She opens her book by asking the reader to imagine that they have received a phone call from their ‘daughter – or sister, or friend’, who reveals that she has been abused by her partner and asks for advice (p. 1). Goodmark notes the high probability that the advice offered will include a legal option: ‘call the police, contact your solicitor, seek a divorce’, for ‘no other intervention is as frequently invoked as the law’. From this point Goodmark seeks to critique the drive to develop, enhance and promote legal responses as the most effective, and in many cases the only, response for victims/survivors of domestic violence.

Problems with legal responses to domestic violence Goodmark devotes the first five chapters to outlining the particular ways in which the legal system (particularly the criminal legal system) has constructed its response to domestic violence: first, in its definition of violence which emphasises physical forms of abuse; second, in its construction of the victim as passive, submissive and requiring protection; third, in its emphasis on separation; and, finally, in its promotion of mandatory interventions (policing and prosecutorial) at the expense of the autonomy and choice of victims to not engage with law or to decide when and how they want to engage.

Although it is important to bear these jurisdictional differences in mind, Goodmark’s book still raises many pertinent issues for the Australian reader. Goodmark’s questioning of approaches that always turn to law and legislative change as the answer to domestic violence are equally relevant here. The various Australian jurisdictions have also prioritised legal responses in work on domestic violence over other types of responses. Furthermore, it is important in all jurisdictions to continually ask questions, such as those posed by Goodmark:

àà What do women (in their infinite variety and

experiences) want when seeking assistance about domestic violence?

àà Does the legal definition of domestic violence reflect women’s experiences?

àà Can the legal system deliver these things in its present form?

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àà What other responses should be available to women

who do not, and do not want to, engage with the law?

Goodmark argues that the legal response in the US is underpinned by the approach of ‘dominance feminism’ that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. Goodmark describes dominance feminism, led by the work of Professor Catharine MacKinnon, as one which defines women in relation to their subordination to men. Goodmark sees the dominance approach reflected in the current legal response to domestic violence through its insistence on a victimised status, essentialism, notions of passivity and subordination, physical violence and engagement with law – features of dominance feminism which have been criticised by subsequent feminist legal scholars (p. 12). I think it is here that Goodmark’s analysis is limited. In attributing the failures of the current legal system to its reliance on a dominance approach, Goodmark overstates the success of feminists of the 1970s and 1980s in having their approach to gendered harm translated in law exactly as they articulated it. Moreover, she ignores the way that law as a discipline and institution plays a very active role in distorting and translating feminist law reform activities within its own image. I would instead argue that the primacy of physical violence, incidents, fear, notions of safety and separation in legal responses has much more to do with how law conceives

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

In reading this book it is important to be aware of the differences in the US and Australian legal responses to domestic violence. While there are similarities, there are also clear variations. In this way, some (but certainly not all) of Goodmark’s critiques about the nature of the legal response to domestic violence – the ‘troubled marriage’ of the title – reflect a particular jurisdictional approach. For

example, in the US there has tended to be a much more proscriptive, and perhaps even coercive, legal response. This can be seen in the fact that in some states of the US, a person must separate from their violent partner in order to obtain a protection order.


harm than feminist law reform efforts. There are very real questions about the way in which (any type of) feminist inspired law reform is translated into the practice of law; what others have referred to as the ‘implementation gap’. This criticism is not to say that there is no value in looking at, exploring and documenting the many limitations evident in early feminist engagement with the legal system regarding domestic violence. This can be a fruitful exercise in determining how far we have come and where we should move to in terms of continuing engagement with law.

The way forward? In the final three chapters Goodmark proposes a way forward. She argues that ‘anti-essentialist feminist legal theory’ provides a useful way in which to map out an alternative response to domestic violence (chapter 6). This theoretical approach rejects the idea that there is one category of woman or a unitary conception of the experience and impact of domestic violence. It takes account of the multiple dimensions, experiences and background of women, recognising that ‘being subjected to domestic abuse is only one facet of women’s identity’ (p. 137).

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In this way Goodmark seeks to expand the recognition of the goals different women might have in reporting domestic violence. For some it will be to obtain safety and accountability, goals that correspond to the legal response – even if we question whether it achieves these things. For others it might be a continuing relationship, financial security, housing and employment, education and so on. As Goodmark comments, ‘no one intervention can meet the needs of all women’ (p. 138). In recognising the breadth of need and interests Goodmark proceeds to canvass improvements to law, as well as other areas. Here Goodmark discusses restorative justice programs, education programs for men and community engagement initiatives.

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Goodmark advocates a ‘woman centred approach’ in which the legal system would define domestic violence ‘around the woman’s experience’ (p. 139). She suggests that the definition of abuse to obtain a civil protection order would ‘include coercion, defined as any threatened or intentional action or course of action that materially limits

the petitioner’s ability to exercise her liberty or autonomy’ (p. 165). She takes a similar approach to the construction of an offence of ‘coercive control’, in which the prosecutors would need to prove that the defendant ‘engaged in or threatened a course of conduct that operated to materially deprive… [the woman] of her liberty, freedom or autonomy’ (p. 168). My response to both of these suggestions is: ‘yes, but how?’ Goodmark seems to present a utopian vision about what might be provided by an anti-essentialist feminist approach that can somehow miraculously overcome the difficulties encountered by other feminist engagements with law. This view seems to discount the many variables that interact in any given legal response and leaves many suggestions for change vague or lacking in detail. Goodmark herself notes that she has presented an ‘ideal’. She recognises that the hypothetical she charts would not move as ‘seamlessly’ as she suggests and that education of legal professionals and other actors on ‘concepts like coercive control and processes for maximizing women’s freedom’ would be required (p. 177). However, this is a small concession given the amount of time devoted to this new system and the tone within which it is presented. Goodmark’s book sits within a recent proliferation of work that in different ways (and with very different theoretical approaches) seek to problematise the domestic violence movement’s attraction to legal responses and the limits of engagement with law (see for example: Mills 2003; Richie 2012; Stark 2007). However, the critical eye with which Goodmark approached the history and currency of legal responses to domestic violence in the US would have been welcomed in the second half of the book where other responses to domestic violence were raised as alternatives. REFERENCES Mills L 2003, Insult to injury: rethinking our responses to intimate abuse, Princeton University Press, Princeton Richie B 2012, Arrested justice: black women, violence, and America’s prison nation, New York University Press, New York Stark E 2007, Coercive control: how men entrap women in their personal life, Oxford University Press, New York


new initiatives BUDDY BAGS, THE ALANNAH AND MADELINE FOUNDATION Imagine if your whole world changed in a day. Imagine having to leave everything you own and everyone you know. The Alannah and Madeline Foundation spoke to Zoe from the Safe Futures Foundation about how their Buddy Bags program helps children entering an unfamiliar world in emergency accommodation. “When the children arrive, we meet with them and give them a Buddy Bag as soon as we can. They’ve often left so quickly that they only have the clothes on their back”, Zoe said. She explains that giving a child a Buddy Bag also helps her connect and start to communicate with them: “We sit down together, we open up the Buddy Bag and take out everything. Sometimes they sit there and brush their hair. We talk about what’s inside and from there we talk about what emergency accommodation is about. It’s like a really friendly ice breaker. It’s so daunting for children to come here and to have a present for them when they arrive is really beneficial.” “When some children arrive at emergency accommodation they can’t speak. These children have been so traumatised they don’t know how to talk anymore,” explains Zoe, a social worker at the Safe Futures Foundation who has the important job of supporting children who arrive in emergency accommodation after fleeing unsafe homes. “Kids arrive at the Safe Futures Foundation at all hours. They just need to get out of the house at a time that’s safe to go. When the taxi drops them off, it’s just like entering another world for them. It’s frightening and so hard for the kids,” Zoe said. The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Buddy Bags program provides children entering emergency accommodation with a backpack containing basic essential items such as toiletries, pyjamas, socks, underwear, a pillowcase, a book, a photo frame, school stationery and a teddy bear. The bag is theirs to keep. It provides children

Since 2007, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has delivered Buddy Bags to more than 35,000 children in

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emergency accommodation with help from Buddy Bags Principal Partner, Target.

How can you help?

ààPurchase a red reusable bag at any Target

store. All profits from the sale of these bags

support our Buddy Bags program

ààDonate any of the items (in bulk) included in

Buddy Bags

ààVisit any NAB branch on our website to

donate to Buddy Bags.

Find out more at The Alannah and Madeline Foundation website www.amf.org.au.

with comfort and belongings of their own and helps to restore a sense of safety and security in their lives.

If you are looking to keep up to date with the latest news from the sector, subscribe to our monthly e-news service. Email clearinghouse@unsw.edu.au, call us on (02) 9385 2990 or subscribe online at www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/subscribe.html to receive updates on conferences and events, grants, research and resources, good practice and more.

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

LATEST NEWS FROM THE SECTOR – e-news


3. Triage, and;

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN INITIATIVES TO PROMOTE INTEGRATED RESPONSES TO DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE By Karen Wilcox, Clearinghouse Senior Researcher Western Australia has introduced two important new initiatives to support the state’s development of an

management where appropriate). Engagement with the FDVRTs is through the WA Police; all police incidents identified as domestic violence trigger referral for assessment and triaging. The response is monitored and evaluated in accordance with the FDVRT Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Perpetrator Accountability in Child Protection Practice.

Perpetrator Accountability in Child Protection Practice: A resource for child protection workers about engaging and responding to men who perpetrate family and domestic violence

These new measures promote a rigorous, safety-focussed

A new publication, released by the Western Australian

integrated approach to family and domestic violence:

àà a regionally based collaborative risk assessment and

response strategy, known as the Family and Domestic Violence Response Team (FDVRT); and

àà a new publication for workers in child protection,

approach to family and domestic violence across WA, supplementing existing strategies like Western Australia’s Family Violence courts, Common Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (CRARMF), ‘Safe at Home’

Government this year, is a comprehensive handbook for workers in child protection. It is also of broader general value across other disciplines and jurisdictions, as it provides a unique and valuable contribution to the

programs (to support exclusion orders) and the recent

challenging area of work with perpetrators who are fathers.

consolidation of domestic violence outreach services.

The resource enhances practitioner understanding of the

Family and Domestic Violence Response Team (FDVRT) Nine new Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams

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4. Response, according to triage outcome (including case

(FDVRT) have been established across WA this year. These teams are a partnership between the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (formerly the DCP), WA Police and non-government (NGO) services (coordinated by the Women’s Council of WA). The FDVRTs provide risk assessment and triaging of all domestic violence police incidents to provide early, risk-focussed intervention promoting the safety of children and adult victims of family and domestic violence. In many districts, the police, child protection and family and NGO domestic violence worker

complexities of domestic and family violence, based on sound principles of good practice in domestic violence work. These principles include prioritising the safety of children, recognising the centrality of mother safety for child wellbeing, clearly locating responsibility for children’s exposure to violence with perpetrators rather than mothers, and the need for child protection workers to be involved in domestic violence risk assessment. The publication also outlines the ways in which perpetrators engage professionals to inadvertently collude with them, and tactics used to undermine mothering or disrupt mother/ child and intra-family relationships, including practice examples of dilemmas and challenges workers may experience.

(known as the Coordinated Response Service) are co-

Commissioned by the Family and Domestic Violence

located.

Unit in the Department of Child Protection (now Child

The FDVRT partnership released Operating Procedures in July this year which outline the processes through which incidents are managed in order to identify and avert risk. These involve joint assessment of incidents, using the CRARMF, exchange of relevant information and triage

Protection and Family Services), and developed by Red Tree Consulting and No To Violence (Vic), the resource is underpinned by the broader framework for child protection in WA ‘Signs of Safety’, and contains links to tools from that Framework and Practice Manual.

according to risk. Where there are no children or the risk

This publication reflects the current impetus driving

is deemed low, the response involves referral to domestic

workers to increase engagement with fathers and men,

violence or family services. Where high risk is identified,

so is likely to assist workers across a range of sectors,

multi-agency case management across the three partner

including Family Support, Indigenous services, child

agencies in the district is initiated. A shared database is in

contact and the family law sector.

development which will allow for more effective information exchanged by email or telephone.

Further information is available from the DCPFS website.

The FDVRT process involves four stages:

FDVRT Operating Procedures

1. Incident reporting to the WA Police

http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/CrisisAndEmergency/FDV/ Documents/FDVRT%20Operating%20Procedures.pdf

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exchange by partner agencies. Currently information is

2. Joint assessment of risk by all partners


FDVRT Monitoring and Evaluation Framework http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/CrisisAndEmergency/ FDV/Documents/FDVRT%20Monitoring%20and%20 Evaluation%20Framework.pdf

Perpetrator Accountability in Child Protection Practice: A resource for child protection workers about engaging and responding to men who perpetrate family and domestic violence http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/CrisisAndEmergency/FDV/ Documents/Perpetrator%20Accountability%20in%20 Child%20Protection%20Practice.pdf

With a commitment to developing strong interagency relationships to promote effective service delivery, the Alice Springs Integrated Response to Family and Domestic Violence Project presents a constructive approach to addressing violence within the community.

PREVENTING THE SEXUAL ASSAULT OF OLDER WOMEN By Catherine Barrett, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University Primary prevention involves reviewing evidence about the

THE ALICE SPRINGS INTEGRATED RESPONSE TO FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROJECT

context of violence in order to understand attitudes and

By Tahlia Trijbetz, Clearinghouse Research Assistant

older women. This is partly due to the fact that there is no

Launched in 2012, the Alice Springs Integrated Response to Family and Domestic Violence Project is a collaborative strategy to improve women and children’s safety, and encourage men who use violence to take responsibility for their actions and access support for behaviour change. Funded by the Alice Springs Transformation Plan, it is a partnership between government and non-government agencies, including police, correctional services, health, housing, children’s services, women’s services and Aboriginal community groups. The strategy is guided by

behaviours that might be changed to prevent violence occurring. There are currently no primary prevention strategies that specifically address the sexual assault of evidence (on public record) of the context of the sexual assault of older women. Without this evidence it is difficult to accurately identify where to target prevention activity. A three year federally-funded project hopes to bridge this gap. The project, based at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University, includes researchers from the National Ageing Research Institute; the McCaughey Centre and the Centre for Women’s Health, Gender and Society at the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Australia and the Council on the Ageing, Victoria.

the NT Department of the Attorney-General and Justice

The project aims to strengthen the community’s ability to

and the NT Department of Children and Families.

prevent the sexual assault of older women in aged care

The Integrated Response comprises five elements: 1. Young people taught about creating respectful relationships in culturally relevant and appropriate ways, extending existing programs in and outside of school 2. A Family Safety Framework (FSF) implemented to foreground safety in family and domestic violence responses and increase response effectiveness across agencies with a focus on those in situations with a

services and the broader community. To achieve this, the project team will: 1. Gather evidence about the context of the sexual assault of older women 2. Talk to older women, family members and service providers to better understand sexual assault from different perspectives 3. Develop resources to assist service providers and the

high risk of harm or death. A common risk assessment

broader community to prevent the sexual assault of

tool to be used across agencies, a clear process

older women

for interagency referral, guidelines around sharing information, and fortnightly family safety meetings (FSMs). The FSF is based on the South Australian model 3. More support provided for victims of family and domestic violence who go through the police and legal systems 4. Men who use family and domestic violence to have programs, with increased avenues for referral, including self-referral. Programs to reflect best practice principles, with a focus on safety of women and children 5. Connecting with the community to increase likelihood of community members accessing services and engaging in prevention of family and domestic violence.

4. Create greater awareness of the sexual assault of older women by publicising the results of the research around Australia. By working collaboratively with a broad range of individuals and organisations, the project team hopes to build the community’s capacity to prevent the sexual assault of older women. If you would like to know more about this project, or if you would like to be included on a Project Support Network mailing list, contact the project coordinator, Dr Catherine Barrett, at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University. Phone: 03 9285 5297, email: c.barrett@latrobe.edu.au

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

greater access to improved behaviour change

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recent additions

to the research and resources database Search our database of over 6000 articles, reports, books and other resources on domestic and family violence: www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/research.html

ARTICLES Buchanan F, Power C & Verity F 2013, ‘Domestic violence and the place of fear in mother/baby relationships: “What was I afraid of? Of making it worse.”’ Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 28 , no. 9, pp. 1817-1838 It should come as no surprise that when women who have raised babies in domestic violence come together to discuss the formation of relationships with their babies they raise issues of fear. Yet in current attachment studies about the formation of relationships between women and their babies, knowledge of fear based in lived experiences is undervalued. This article draws on a qualitative study of such experiences to explore ways in which fear impacted on sixteen women and their babies. (©2013 SAGE Publications)

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BOOKS & REPORTS Chamberlain L & Levenson R 2012, Addressing intimate partner violence, reproductive and sexual coercion: a guide for obstetric, gynaecologic and reproductive health care settings, 2nd edn, Futures Without Violence, San Francisco This manual was produced by Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund) in conjunction with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, to give health care providers a greater understanding of their role in identifying and dealing with intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion.

Fiolet R, Sands N & Nagle C 2013, ‘Intimate partner violence: are Australian nurses and midwives trained to provide care?’ The Australian Nursing Journal, vol. 20 , no. 10, p. 37

Kezelman C & Stavropoulos P 2012, The last frontier: practice guidelines for treatment of complex trauma and trauma informed care and service delivery, Adults Surviving Child Abuse, Kirribilli, NSW

This brief article looks at the Australian picture of intimate partner violence as it presents in a health setting. It summarises the morbidity experienced by women living with intimate partner violence (IPV); physical health outcomes, psychological outcomes and social consequences. It discusses the efficacy of screening for IPV in health care settings.

This practice resource has been developed for service providers involved in the treatment of survivors of complex trauma. Along with guidelines, it presents an evidence base to enable research to be incorporated into practice.

McLaughlin J, O’Carroll RE & O’Connor RC 2012, ‘Intimate partner abuse and suicidality: a systematic review’, Clinical Psychology Review, vol. 32, no. 8, pp. 677-689 This review article analyses 37 studies which examined the association between suicide and intimate partner violence. In all but one of these studies there was found to be a strong and consistent link between the two. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed and the importance of screening in the healthcare setting is emphasised.

Waller MW, Iritani BJ & Christ SL 2013, ‘Perpetration of intimate partner violence by young adult males: the association with alcohol outlet density and drinking behavior’, Health & Place, vol. 21, pp. 10-19

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Participants’ home addresses and alcohol outlets in their neighbourhoods were matched and the resulting data analysed. For young adult males, results demonstrated a positive relationship between living in an area of high alcohol outlet density and perpetrating IPV. While increased perpetration of physical IPV was demonstrated, outlet density was not associated with sexual IPV perpetration.

In a United States study of more than 14 000 young people aged between 18 and 26 years of age, respondents were asked about IPV perpetration and alcohol use.

POLICY Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation 2013, The partial defence of provocation, New South Wales Legislative Council, Sydney This report summarises the inquiry conducted into the validity of a reduced sentence in situations where a male partner kills his female partner, claiming provocative circumstances. The inquiry resulted in the development of a reform model which endeavours to restrict the availability of the defence of provocation. Reform of this legal defence rather than its abolition was chosen because it is recognised that for some defendants, primarily women who have been long term victims of domestic violence, the use of the partial defence of provocation may be an appropriate legal choice.


WELCOME

inside 2 welcome 3 clearinghouse update 4 trauma panel wrap-up 6 feature: communities working to reduce indigenous family violence 8 interview: dr lesley laing 9 feature: domestic violence and temporary visa holders: barriers to safety 11 good practice notes 13 book review: a troubled marriage 15 new initiatives

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter. In this issue we feature articles about Indigenous community responses to family violence, trauma-informed practice, legal responses to domestic violence, and a range of other updates and reports. We hope you enjoy reading these contributions and as always, your comments and feedback are appreciated. From January 2014, the new National Centre of Excellence (NCE) takes over responsibility for analysis and dissemination of domestic violence research and information. This means the ADFVC will begin transitioning some services to the NCE and ceasing others, so that after Christmas you will start to notice changes occurring in our output and public face. This marks the end of an era for the ADFVC and we approach the moment with some sadness mixed with optimism for a strong future, for the continuation of clearinghouse services through the NCE. More information is provided in our update section on this page. With this transition about to happen the next (summer) newsletter will be our last, as the NCE looks to establish other forms of communication with the sector. We will devote this upcoming final issue to reflections on more than a decade of DFV reforms since the Clearinghouse was established in 2000. What changes and developments in our knowledge-base about domestic and family violence have we seen, and what are the key issues for Australia in continuing to move forward? Key authors and researchers from across the country have been invited to give a State based perspective and the Clearinghouse will provide a national overview. Keep an eye on our e-news for an invitation to contribute your own thoughts. In the meantime, enjoy this issue and remember you can access further information through our website: www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au. Facebook.com/ADFVC @ADFVC_info

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18 recent additions to the research and resources database 16 latest clearinghouse publications

Contributions The Clearinghouse welcomes submissions from service workers, researchers and individuals. If you wish to submit an article or review, please email a one paragraph outline to the address below. We will provide you with feedback and discuss a deadline for submission.

Subscriptions For a free subscription to the Clearinghouse Newsletter or our other publications, please phone, fax or email us, or subscribe online at – www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/subscribe.html For more information contact the Clearinghouse at –

Email: clearinghouse@unsw.edu.au Ph: (02) 9385 2990 Fax: (02) 9385 2993

The views expressed in this Newsletter do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse or the Australian ISSN Print: 1443-7236 ISSN Online: 1838-7101 © 2013 Design/Printing: Print Post Plus (P3)

Government. While all reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no liability is assumed for any errors or omissions. The Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The Clearinghouse is a project of the Centre for Gender-Related Violence Studies, at the University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences.

www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

Publication Information


latest clearinghouse publications

See all Clearinghouse publications at: www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/publications.html You can be notified when Clearinghouse papers are published on our website. Just contact us on (02) 9385 2990 or subscribe online: www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/subscribe.html

Other resources Practice Monograph

ààZannettino L, Pittaway E, Eckert R, Bartolomei L, Ostapiej-

trauma panel wrap-up

Piatkowski B, Allimant A and Parris J 2013, Improving responses to refugees with backgrounds of multiple

trauma: Pointers for practitioners in domestic and family violence, sexual assault and settlement service, Practice Monograph 1 http://www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au/ research_reports.htm

Research and Practice Brief

ààBraaf R & Barrett Meyering I 2013, Reading statistics: a

guide for professionals working with domestic and family violence, Research and Practice Brief 4

communities working to reduce indigenous family violence

http://www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au/ researchandpractice.htm.

Fast Facts

ààTrijbetz T 2013, Domestic and family violence and people from immigrant and refugee backgrounds, Fast Facts 11 www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/fast_facts.htm (TBC)

good practice principles for working with cald women

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newsletter

Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse The University of New South Wales, NSW Australia 2052 T +61 2 9385 2990 freecall 1800 753 382 F +61 2 9385 2993 E clearinghouse@unsw.edu.au www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au

Spring / 2013

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