What we do
The focus of the Domestic & Family Violence Service is to:
- Provide assistance and advocacy for individual victims of domestic violence that prioritizes their safety within a case management framework
- Provide and facilitate community education with NPY communities, police, justice, health and other relevant workers
- Building links and developing guidelines with other organisations and services to improve responses to domestic violence
1. Case Management that involves practical assistance, support and advocacy for individual women victims of domestic violence.
- Crisis Assistance Emergency travel, safe accommodation, clothing and food
- Counselling and emotional support
- Reporting all DV and Sexual assault to Police. NPY DFVS have a Duty of Care to make reports to police, where we believe and / or have information that women and children are being abused, neglected, present to or at risk of ongoing abuse in Domestic and Family Violence.
- Court Support and Advocacy. NPY DV Caseworkers attend the NT, SA and WA Magistrates’ courts across the NPY lands. Caseworkers advocate for women whose partners are before the court on charges relating to domestic violence. Caseworkers provide women with in-court support, as well as following up with clients outside the courtroom to ensure they understand their partners’ charges and the relevant court processes, their rights as victims or witnesses, and to ensure the court is receiving the correct information in regards to the clients safety needs. NPYDVS works closely with the Prosecutors to work towards achieving the best safety outcome for each client. We also provide court support to women victims of sexual assault at the Supreme Court and District court.
- Restraining Orders. Assisting clients to obtain appropriate restraining orders that are tailored to suit their individual needs and situations, which is particularly important on small kin-based communities.
- Referrals. Referrals to Family Court Counselling Service and support to access Family law legal assistance. Supporting clients to access medical, financial and housing services. Child protection, support and advocacy. The NPY DV Service recognise that domestic violence is often one of many issues that our clients face, and therefore work closely with other NPY teams and other community services, as well as the police, Alice Springs hospital, community healthcare clinics, courts and legal services, to ensure women are provided with holistic support on a needs and case-by-case basis.
2. Community awareness and prevention activities.
- Community workshops for women, adolescent girls
- Workshops for health practitioners/workers
- Information sessions on NPYDVS for other services
Many women from our member communities are taking out restraining orders to protect themselves and their children. Individual women become models for other women and their action generates awareness amongst their family and others in the community. Most of our referrals come from women, both victims and their family. Victims who seek help later become strong advocates for other victims.
3. Building links with other services and organizations through systemic advocacy and local and regional agreements and protocols.
- Regular cross-border meetings with member of NT, SA and WA Police
- MOU/SOP with Marla Police
- Cross-Border Protocol with NT, SA and WA Police
- Referral process with Family Court Counselling Service
- Protocols with health services around response to DV.
- Protocols with other DV Services, including the A/Sp Domestic Violence Legal Service SA and WA women’s legal services
Our Guiding Principles:
- Social justice All people have the right to live safe lives, free of violence. Women have equal rights with men in all spheres of life . Children have the right to be protected from harmful influences and abuse.
- Equality Aboriginal women and children living in the NPY Lands should have equal access to the criminal justice system and the protection provided by it. In matters of basic human rights crown law overarches customary law.
- Access The service must be accessible and facilitate access to other services and resources, in particular, Police.
As a result, NPYDVS is now a unique service that responds quickly and practically to the high incidence and serious nature of violence experienced by women and children on and from the NPY Lands, and also advocates for improved responses from the criminal justice system.