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					                               Newsletter 26 – Spring 2006

INSIDE                                                                  FEATURES
1      FEATURES: Remote community tackles               Remote community tackles violence
3      Personal Safety Survey released                  Dorothea Randall, a member of the Mutitjulu
                                                        community at Uluru, spoke to Clare Sneddon,
3      CLEARINGHOUSE NEWS:                              Clearinghouse Project Officer and Family
3      Survey on future Clearinghouse topics            Mediator, who visited the community in September
4      Call for writers and reviewers                   2006. They discussed how the Mutitjulu
                                                        community has experienced and dealt with
4      Clearinghouse staffing updates                   domestic violence and what she thinks can be
4      Clearinghouse visit to the National Centre for   done to make women and children in the
       Indigenous Studies                               community safer.
5      Tasmania’s Safe At Home: A whole of              How do you perceive levels of domestic violence
       government response to domestic violence         in your community compared to five years ago?
8      NEW RESOURCES                                    When petrol sniffing was wiped out earlier this
                                                        year, through the introduction of Opal fuel,
                                                        violence was very much reduced. Where violence
                                                        was a continual problem before, it is now only an
11     RECENT THESES                                    issue when the ‘dry’ rule is breached. When the
12     NEWS AND EVENTS:                                 men drink, their anger comes out and they
                                                        become physical, which they would not do if they
12     Research
                                                        were not drunk.
12     Domestic violence crisis payments
                                                        Are there any other substance abuse problems in
12     2006 Edna Ryan Awards                            the community?
13     Frankston Family Violence Court                  Yes, gunja (marijuana) causes problems in the
12     LEGISLATION AND POLICY:                          community because the hydroponic type that
                                                        some community members use is very strong and
12     Northern Territory reviews its legislation
                                                        addictive, and when users can’t get more they
13     REVIEWS                                          become really crazy and stand over the women
14     RECENT ADDITIONS TO THE                          (their wives and mothers) for money.
       GOOD PRACTICE DATABASE                           What do you think would help this problem?
15     FORTHCOMING CONFERENCES AND                      The community needs educational programs – not
       FORUMS                                           just for the addicts, but for all the members, so
15     INTERNET SITES                                   they know how to deal with those affected by the
                                                        drug and when they are withdrawing. People in
                                                        the community are not aware about the
                                                        psychological effects of drugs on people’s
                                                        behaviour. But they need to understand that if
                                                        someone is in a drug-induced rage, they should
                                                        not engage with them at all, or even make eye
                                                        contact. They need to understand how people are
                                                        when they can’t get their gunja and how to behave
                                                        defensively around addicts.
                                                        Do the police intervene when a complaint is made
                                                        against someone in the community?
                                                        Yes. The police do come to the community when

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse               Newsletter No. 25         1
called but they usually take 3-4 hours, or               police at the community station – one female and
sometimes even 24 hours, to come because they            one male – and we are hoping that this will work
cover a large region, which also includes the            well.
Docker River community. By the time they arrive          What do you think would help the community deal
the crisis is usually over and the complainant often     with its problems of violence?
wants to withdraw the complaint because the
                                                         The women have asked for a safe house to be
perpetrator has dried out and is sorry.
                                                         given to them where they can go when their men
Does the community have a good relationship with         are violent and drunk until they dry out. There
the police?                                              were plans for a safe house but it never got off the
Yes, pretty good – there’s usually an officer that       ground. Women used to go to the childcare centre
we are able to develop a good relationship with,         – sometimes they come to me, but it is really
although they often don’t stay in the region very        difficult if I am related to the perpetrator because
long and we have to start over again with the next       culturally I am not supposed to get involved in
officer. Saying that, there are lots of police who       their business with their wife. I have taken in
are racist and who make it clear that they don’t         women in this situation before but that means that
have any time for Aboriginal people – and those          my safety and my family’s safety are affected.
officers are not helpful to our community. But the       When there are police in the community they will
police get frustrated with the fact that women           be able to patrol the safe house so that women
withdraw their complaints and they can’t arrest          will feel protected there.
violent perpetrators so that causes a lack of            The community also needs educational programs
motivation for the police to act.                        so they can understand the destructive effect of
Does the region ever have Aboriginal police              drugs on their psychological health. People in the
officers?                                                community are not very aware about these effects
Unfortunately the only one we ever had did not           and a greater understanding would enable them to
win the trust of our community, so we had                be more clear about their own safety and the
problems working together.                               behaviour of addicts.
I notice there is a new police station being built on    Cultural educational programs, like traditional
the community.                                           dancing, would also be really helpful – anything
                                                         that brings the community together. This would
Yes, and there are also two houses being built so
                                                         also help mend families as well as strengthen
that they can reside and become part of the
                                                         cultural identity and self-esteem. It all comes back
                                                         to cultural identity and our connection to family.
How do you think the new community police
                                                         This is what gives our people strength so that they
station will affect the situation?
                                                         can avoid substance abuse. The spiritual
The fact that police are right here 24 hours a day       connection between an individual and that
will mean that they can be on the scene really           person’s family and the land is the essence of our
quickly and will arrive in the crisis. Hopefully this    culture and this connection is being lost because it
will mean that women will stand by their complaint       is not being passed down. When there is family
and that the police will then be able to take action     abuse, young people lose their trust and respect
against the perpetrator.                                 for the older generation, and then they don’t even
Is it possible that the presence of the police in the    trust the knowledge that the elders pass down
community could make things worse?                       because there is a breakdown in communication.
It all depends on the individual police officers         This results in a loss of identity, causing those
appointed. Some police are racist and you can tell       young people to continue the cycle of violence
immediately by their body language that they have        against themselves and others.
a negative view of Aboriginal people. No one             Don’t you think that the men should be the ones
trusts police like that and the community would not      that leave the home, not the women?
be able to work cooperatively with officers like         Yes – that’s a good idea. The men have actually
that.                                                    been asking for a place that they can go to settle
It’s really important that police who are working        down and dry out if they are drunk and
with Aboriginal communities get cultural training,       uncontrollable. But it has to come from the men –
specifically about the traditions of the area that       the women can’t ask on their behalf. It would be
they are working in. Otherwise it is very difficult to   culturally inappropriate, just as it would be for the
build good relations. Even Aboriginal officers need      men to ask for a safe place for women on their
cultural training because traditions are very            behalf. Again, once we have our own police, they
different from one community to another.                 would be able to help encourage the men to use
Would it be better to have Aboriginal police             this space when they need it.
officers?                                                Do you have a night patrol? 1
Yes, but they need to come from a different region
because then they are not caught up with family
loyalties that can make their job really difficult to        A night patrol (sometimes called a community patrol,
do. I’ve heard that we are getting two Aboriginal            street patrol or street beat program) provides safe

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                  Newsletter No. 26                   2
Not really a formal one, although we did have a                  physical assault by a male perpetrator than by
member who did this voluntarily. The problem was                 a female perpetrator (p.30);
that often he was related to the people causing               • 17% of women reported having experienced
the problems and that made it difficult in many                  sexual assault since the age of 15, compared
cases for him to act against them. We currently                  with 4.8% of men (p.7);
have funding for a night patrol and I am hoping
                                                              • 12% of women reported that they had
that once the police station opens, a night patrol
                                                                 experienced sexual abuse before the age of
will be able to operate because they will then be
                                                                 15, compared with 4.5% of men (p. 12);
able to go to the police for back up in difficult
situations when there is a problem with their                 • 4.6% of women experienced sexual threats
relatives. The family relations in an Aboriginal                 since the age of 15, compared with 0.9% of
community are very complex. There are five lines                 men (p.7);
of relations in Aboriginal culture, compared to one           • Compared with 1996, a smaller proportion (by
line in western culture, which means that you can                1.2%) of women reported that they experienced
be related to more than half the community one                   an incident of physical violence in the 12 months
way or another.                                                  prior to this survey (p.7). However, 36%
What can be done when there are breaches of the                  (70,400) of women who experienced physical
‘dry’ rule in the community?                                     assault by a male perpetrator in the 12 months
                                                                 prior to the survey reported it to the police in
It’s really difficult because people will complain but
                                                                 2005, compared with 19% (54,000) in 1996
they won’t actually give the police the names of
the people supplying the alcohol. Hopefully if the
new police gain the trust of the community, they              • The proportion of women aged under 35 who
may be able to find out who is responsible and                   experienced physical violence in the 12 months
stop them from supplying alcohol to the                          prior to this survey has decreased but for those
community.                                                       aged over 35, the proportion has increased
Is there a pattern around when the ‘dry’ rule is
breached?                                                     • 19% of women reported having been stalked
                                                                 since the age of 15, compared with 9.1% of
It’s always really noticeable around tax return time
                                                                 men (p.9);
and when people get a lump sum payment for a
new baby. There should be another way of                      • Of the men who were physically assaulted in
managing these large payments, as some people                    the last 12 months, 65% were assaulted by a
in the community cannot cope with them.                          male stranger compared with 15% of women
Do you think a hard-line criminal justice response
is appropriate?                                               • Of the women who were physically assaulted in
                                                                 the last 12 months, 31% were assaulted by
Each case needs to be treated individually. If
                                                                 their current, or former partner compared with
there are any weapons involved, arrest is clearly
                                                                 4.4% of men (p.9);
appropriate. The women of the community don’t
want the men to be locked up miles from their                 • Men were more likely to be physically
homes and families, particularly because of the                  assaulted by a stranger in the most recent
discrimination and cultural problems Indigenous                  incident, while women were more often
people experience in gaols.                                      assaulted by a current or former partner (p.10);
The Clearinghouse would like to thank Dorothea                • 61% of people who had experienced violence
Randall for this interview for the Newsletter.                   by a previous partner reported that they had
                                                                 children in their care at some time during the
Personal Safety Survey released                                  relationship and 36% said these children had
                                                                 witnessed the violence (p. 11).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal
Safety Survey, Australia was released in August               For full details of the survey including all the
2006.                                                         supporting tables and explanatory notes go to
The fieldwork for the survey was undertaken from              6.0
August to December 2005. Interviews were
conducted with 16,400 people in all States and
Territories to ascertain information on people’s                     CLEARINGHOUSE NEWS
safety at home and in the community. Some of the
key findings were:                                            Survey on future Clearinghouse topics
• In the 12 months prior to the survey, a person
   was over four times more likely to experience              The Clearinghouse is seeking your input into the
                                                              choice of topics for future papers. Please take the
                                                              time to complete our online survey at
                                                     . This
    transport home, to refuges or safe places for people at
                                                              information will assist us in choosing topics and
    risk of offending or victimisation.
                                                              increasing our pool of writers and contributors.
                                                              Help us to provide relevant and topical information

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                      Newsletter No. 26                 3
that is of interest to you. The deadline for surveys    significant contribution to the work of the
has been extended until the end of December             Clearinghouse over a number of years. We would
2006.                                                   like to thank Julie for her contribution and wish her
                                                        well in the future.
Call for writers and reviewers
                                                        Clearinghouse visit to the National
If you are interested in writing for the
Clearinghouse or reviewing papers for publication,      Centre for Indigenous Studies, Canberra
we invite you to contact us now. The Clearinghouse      In July, the Clearinghouse Director and the Good
is compiling a database of writers and reviewers        Practice Project Officer visited the National Centre
for its future publications. If you are interested in   for Indigenous Studies (NCIS) in Canberra to
assisting the Clearinghouse in this work please         learn more about the new Indigenous Family
send us:                                                Violence Prevention Clearinghouse Project and to
• your contact details                                  share information about the work of the
• information about your particular area(s)             Clearinghouse.
     of expertise                                       They were welcomed by Professor Mick Dodson,
• a curriculum vitae/list of publications and           Aileen Blackburn, Donna Maritz and Jo Victoria.
                                                        They learnt about the exciting new NCIS pilot
• an example (or online reference) of your              project, an Indigenous Family Violence
     written work (for writers only)                    Clearinghouse.
The Clearinghouse is seeking a range of                 The NCIS Clearinghouse project will focus on
researchers, evaluators, practitioners and              ‘what works’ in responding to Indigenous family
advocates who work to address domestic and              violence, and in the pilot phase, is exploring
family violence, to contribute to this work. Your       website development and accessibility, whilst
information will be treated in the strictest            showcasing a number of successful projects from
confidence.                                             around Australia. Detailed attention is being paid
Please email to:              to innovative web design, including interactive
                                                        visuals, maps and videos, in order to meet the
Clearinghouse staffing update                           needs of Indigenous communities wishing to
We would like to welcome Dr Rochelle Braaf, who         access information about violence prevention
commenced with us on 1 August in the newly              programs.
created position of Senior Research Officer.            If long-term funding of the project is secured, the
Rochelle joined the Clearinghouse from the NSW          NCIS Clearinghouse will assist organisations to
Attorney General’s Department where she was the         contact community-based projects across the
Evaluation and Research Officer in the Crime            country regarding their strategies. It will also
Prevention Division, examining ways to improve          provide an invaluable archive for information on
criminal justice responses. She shares the              many programs which, because of their short-term
Clearinghouse’s deep commitment to preventing           nature, may otherwise be lost.
violence against women.                                 The NCIS project will provide an important
Rochelle worked with the Violence Against               resource for users of the AD&FV Clearinghouse
Women Specialist Unit in NSW for five years in a        Good Practice Database, and Clearinghouse staff
policy capacity, on domestic violence, sexual           look forward to a continuing exchange of
assault and other violence issues. In 2005 she led      information with the NCIS, particularly in regard to
a research project for the Unit examining the           ‘good practice’ in Indigenous family violence
response of the service and the criminal justice        prevention programs.
systems to sexual assault victims.
She also participated on a longer-term project,
looking at ways to improve access to services for
Aboriginal women experiencing violence. Rochelle
has an extensive research background and has
worked with governments, universities and private
consultancies in NSW and Victoria. In 2000 she
was awarded a doctorate in Human Geography
from Macquarie University.
The Good Practice Project Worker position has been
recruited. A part-time administrative position has
also been created.
The position of Information Manager is being
recruited and the outcome will be announced in
                                                        Clearinghouse Director, Gaby Marcus (second from left),
the next Newsletter.
                                                        with Donna Maritz, Prof Mick Dodson, Jo Victoria and
Julie Stewart, former Project Officer, left the         Aileen Blackburn from the National Centre for Indigenous
Clearinghouse at the end of July. Julie made a          Studies.

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                 Newsletter No. 26                     4
Tasmania’s Safe At Home: A whole of                       • Practice Consultants
government response to domestic                           • Adult Counselling Service (FVCSS)
violence                                                  • Children’s Counselling Services
The previous edition of the Clearinghouse                 • Child Protection Services
Newsletter flagged a more detailed account of             • Special needs services
Safe At Home following the Clearinghouse’s visit       The program includes:
to Tasmania earlier in the year. In this edition the
                                                       • Law reform – the drafting and enactment of the
Good Practice Project Officer provides information
                                                          Family Violence Act 2004;
about the unique and innovative features which
may be of interest to law reformers, policy makers,    • Policy innovation – the development of
women’s sector activists and service providers in         criminal justice, victim safety focussed policies
all states.                                               within the relevant departments;
                                                       • Practice change and protocol development –
Introduction                                              most significantly, in policing, but also in
The Tasmanian Government’s Safe At Home                   counselling, crisis response and child
program represents a commitment to addressing             protection services;
domestic and family violence which is                  • Integrated responses – cross-disciplinary and
unprecedented in Australia, in terms of funding,          cross-departmental responses, implemented at
resourcing, scope, commitment to law reform and           local levels, and including a mechanism for
departmental culture change. It also reflects what        integrated case management;
appears, to the author, to be the most successful
attempt seen by the sector to integrate and            • Coordination – a multi-tiered structure
coordinate mainstream responses to domestic               designed to ensure coordination of responses
violence. Uniquely, this is implemented at a local        across departments and to respond to
level, yet achieved across the state. For these           problems and issues arising from the ground
reasons, a detailed account of Safe At Home to            level service delivery;
Clearinghouse subscribers is warranted.                • Funding and resourcing of new services,
                                                          enhancement of existing services;
What is Safe At Home?
                                                       • Risk assessment and safety auditing;
The Safe At Home program encompasses a great
deal more than is usual with a whole-of-               • Offender intervention; and
government strategy. It is large-scale and             • Information sharing, including shared data
comprehensive. In summary, components of Safe             access.
At Home are:
1 Cooperation and collaboration of three
                                                       At the broadest level, the program is based on a
    Government departments;
                                                       belief that government intervention ought to
2 A three-tiered accountability mechanism; and         enable, as far as possible, victims of domestic
3 An integrated service delivery.                      violence to remain safe and at home – hence the
This is achieved through:                              response is strongly interventionist in regard to
                                                       the offender, who, rather than the victim, bears the
a) Department of Justice                               brunt of the disruption following incidents of
    • Magistrates Courts                               violence. For this reason, Safe At Home reflects a
    • Victims Assistance Unit                          philosophical commitment to a strong criminal
    • Court Support and Liaison Service                justice response – pro-arrest and pro-prosecution
                                                       and focuses strongly on justice system
    • Child Witness Support Service                    intervention, supported by services which address
    • Corrective Services                              support and survival needs 2.
    • Family Violence Offender Intervention            Safe At Home defines family violence broadly to
        Program                                        include physical, emotional, sexual and financial
    • Legal Aid Commission                             abuse (enshrined in the new legislation) and is
b) Tasmania Police                                     based on an understanding that domestic violence
                                                       reflects an often long-standing relationship history
    • Family Violence Victim Safety Response           of power and control; hence responses should not
        Teams (VSRT)                                   be focussed on the isolated current incident
    • Family Violence Response and Referral            before the police.
        Line                                           The Safe At Home strategy recognises that
    • Specialist prosecutors
    • Trained frontline police officers                2
                                                           The Safe At Home program does not include refuges,
    • Risk Assessment Screening Tool (RAST)
                                                           the housing sector, Migrant Resource Centres or other
        and Safety Audit
                                                           NGOs at this stage.
c) Department of Health and Human Services

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                Newsletter No. 26                    5
children who are present when there is violence        radical policy changes characterising Safe At
are primary victims, so it integrates child            Home could be introduced across the police,
protection intervention with other responses, and      health and justice agencies involved in the
funds a state-wide children’s counselling service.     program. Extensive policy development and
Both victims and offenders are held accountable        innovation occurred across the three Safe At
for child protection issues.                           Home departments, enabling the development of a
Fundamental to the Safe At Home philosophy is a        cohesive system which reflected the victim safety
belief that assessment of offender risk and victim     and offender accountability philosophies
safety should drive the response to family violence    underpinning Safe At Home.
and, in assessing this, the offender’s history is a    How Does Safe At Home Work?
critical consideration. Safe At Home also reflects a
                                                       The program is enabled by the Family Violence
belief in ‘dual accountability’ with regard to
                                                       Act 2004 and by a unique structure of governance
compliance with protection orders. Hence victims
                                                       and case coordination, through which consistency
who initiate or facilitate contact with a defendant
                                                       of management, practice and response is
may also be charged and fined, if convicted, as an
‘accessory ... instigating the commission of a
simple offence’, s73 Justices Act 1959.                Policing
Also central to Safe At Home’s philosophy is a         The role of the police in addressing domestic
clear mainstreaming of responses to domestic           violence in Tasmania is critical and pivotal.
violence. All victims of family violence who fall      Tasmania Police are the front-end ‘gateway’
within the Family Violence Act 2004 are assessed       agency through which responses to family
for risk and safety issues, and it is through the      violence are implemented. Clients gain entry to
outcome of this assessment that police responses       the Safe At Home program through police contact
are determined. The program’s mainstream               at the scene or report of an incident of domestic
criminal justice philosophy relies on strong           violence.
policing and mainstream service delivery to            They manage:
address family violence for all communities in
Tasmania. However, this is supplemented by             • Crisis response and referral, through the 24 hr
funding of an Aboriginal Court Support worker, Ya          phone line (the FVRRL);
Pulingina Kani (the Aboriginal Family Violence         • Access to immediate safety for victims,
Working Group) and a CALD communities policy               including the use of funds for transport and
project.                                                   accommodation, funds for children’s needs
                                                           (such as food and nappies), refuge referrals
Government Commitment and Policy                           where necessary;
                                                       • Risk and safety assessment (using the
In examining Safe At Home, of particular note is           specially developed and validated risk
the sustained political commitment and will of the         assessment tool, the RAST, as well as
Tasmanian Government to address domestic and               conducting safety audits);
family violence.
                                                       • Referrals for perpetrator accommodation; and
Safe At Home was developed within the context of
                                                       • Ongoing case management of high risk cases.
a government (under the late Premier the Hon Jim
Bacon) which was committed to long-term                Changes to policing practice have removed police
strategic planning, through which the Tasmania         discretion and victim choice in regard to arrest,
Together growth and state renewal strategy was         where there is reasonable suspicion of an offence
introduced. Safe At Home was, in part, a response      having been committed 3. Policing responses are
to community safety concerns emerging from the         predicated on formal risk and safety assessment
consultation process which underpinned Tasmania        for every callout, which effectively replaces
Together and the political and community support       discretion with a comparatively objective
for this strategy was integral to the successful       approach. Better evidence collection and better
funding and implementation of Safe At Home. The        brief preparation are aspects of enhanced policing
program development was driven through cabinet         under Safe At Home, reflected in higher conviction
by the then Attorney-General, the Hon Judy             rates shown by early monitoring of the program
Jackson, who had a longstanding commitment to          (Source: Department of Justice, Tasmania).
women’s issues. Her commitment, along with a           Changes in policing have been underpinned by a
supportive Premier, undoubtedly facilitated the        rollout of training across the State, which, to date,
introduction of such a far-reaching program. The
allocation to Safe At Home of a significant amount
of ‘new money’ by Cabinet is further evidence of       3
                                                           A recent Queensland study suggests that these factors
significant government commitment.                         have a significant impact on the quality of police
In addition, the long-standing commitment and              response and are more important than severity of the
drive of the program architect and coordinator, Liz        incident in determining police responses, see AD&FV
Little (Principal Consultant) added to the                 Clearinghouse Newsletter, No 22
constellation of factors which ensured that the

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                Newsletter No. 26                    6
has covered 67% of police and addresses                  underpinned by an integrated service response to
attitudes which may impact on police assessment          the needs of victims. Through Safe At Home,
of the seriousness of incidents of violence.             policing, crisis support, counselling for adult
                                                         victims and children and court support are
Law Reform
                                                         integrated and coordinated. This level of
Safe At Home was enabled by the proclamation of          integration and intersectoral cooperation is
the Family Violence Act 2004, in March 2005.             unprecedented in Australia.
The Act represents a two-pronged criminal justice        This integration is achieved through a structured
response, with both protection orders and the            system of information exchange, case
criminalising of family violence. Under s7 of the        management, advocacy and troubleshooting
Act, family violence is defined to include:              involving the funded Safe At Home agencies.
• Assault;                                               Integrated Case Coordination (ICC) meetings are
• Threats, coercion, intimidation or verbal              held each week, at a district level (four districts
     abuse;                                              across the state). During these meetings, new
                                                         incidents are reviewed and ongoing cases
• Abduction;                                             discussed in regard to risk management issues,
• Stalking;                                              under a system of resubmission for review within
• Economic abuse (with the intent to                     particular timeframes. The Safe At Home
     ‘unreasonably control’, intimidate or cause         counselling services (both adult and children),
     mental harm, apprehension or fear, defined in       Court Support Workers (including Child Witness,
     s8); and                                            where available), prosecutors, child protection and
• Emotional abuse or intimidation (defined in            special needs workers also attend the ICC
     s9) 4.                                              meetings or provide input through
                                                         teleconferencing or videoconferencing facilities.
The legislation also provides police with a radical
extension of their detention without charge              The ICC meetings are central to applications to
powers, allowing them to detain persons                  the court to review orders and magistrates may
suspected of committing a family violence offence        adjourn matters, particularly where revocation or
for a period ‘reasonably’ required to assess risk        variations to orders are requested, so that ICC
and safety and implement necessary measures,             input can be sought regarding risk and safety.
determine charges or make an order (s11).                Risk and safety management is assisted by the
                                                         involvement of Child Protection at the case
Changes to bail determination under the Act also         integration (ICC) level.
reflect safety-focussed law reform. Bail can only
be granted if the court or police officer is satisfied   Integration is also facilitated by the sharing of
that the granting of bail would not ‘be likely to        information through the Family Violence
adversely affect the safety, wellbeing and interests     Management System (FVMS), a shared-access
of an affected person or affected child’, and that       database which links data from Tasmania Police,
consideration of this requirement must include           Departments of Health & Human Services and
examination of risk screening, the offender’s            Justice (including court outcomes), so that
demeanour and the availability of accommodation          agencies are able to keep up-to-date with risk and
for the victim and their children (s12).                 safety issues around both victims and offenders.
                                                         The FVMS uses a shared server, owned by all
Both these measures reinforce the pro-                   three Departments. Police are the major portal
detention/pro-safety philosophy which underpins          into the Safe At Home central case management
Safe At Home.                                            system. Counselling, Court Support and other
Under the Family Violence Act 2004, two new              services also feed information into the system so
protection orders have been introduced – Family          that cross-agency decision-making, statistical
Violence Orders (FVOs) (Pt 4), which replace             collection and monitoring can occur. Integration of
Restraint Orders and new Police Family Violence          information management will be further enhanced
Orders (PFVOs) (s13), which can be issued                with the introduction of the Integrated Case
immediately by senior police (sergeant or above)         Coordination Management System (ICCMS), later
and which last for up to 12 months. These are            in 2006.
issued where risk is not assessed as high.               ICC meetings operate under agreed business
Changes to the Criminal Code have introduced a           rules, and a manual has been developed (the
new offence of assaulting a pregnant woman               ‘Safe At Home Integrated Case Coordination
(s184A), which is an indictable offence.                 Manual’). Case coordination at these meetings is
Structure                                                informed by the RAST score. Executive support
                                                         for ICC meetings is provided by the Department of
The criminal justice focus of Safe At Home is            Justice. There are approximately 1800 open cases
                                                         under ICC review (at 06/06).
4                                                        Central to the effective operation of Safe At Home
    c.f. WA – 2004 amendments to the Restraining         is the coordination of policy and practice of the
    Orders Act 1997                                      three key departments – Justice, Police &
                                                         Emergency Management (DPEM) and Health &

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                 Newsletter No. 26                7
Human Services (DHHS).                                  the three departments remains focussed on the
The lead agency for Safe At Home is the                 common goals and strategies of the program.
Department of Justice and the Minister                  For example, the structure’s responsiveness to
responsible is Attorney-General, The Hon Steve          problems identified at the local level can be
Kons. The Department is responsible for                 demonstrated by current policy work on the
overseeing the implementation of the program, the       development of protocols for the Parole Board,
provision of funding (as well as some aspects of        which will ensure that victims can be notified of
service delivery) for coordination, monitoring, data    the imminence of an offender’s release, as this
collection, analysis and evaluation. Law reform         clearly impacts on risk and safety assessment.
and the legislative base to support the program         This issue was raised following feedback from
are the responsibility of this department.              local agencies and police at ICC meetings, and is
The Safe At Home Principal Consultant position,         now being addressed at senior interdepartmental
held by Liz Little, is based in the Department of       level.
Justice and is supported by administrative and          Conclusion
policy development staff and a business analyst.
                                                        Philosophically and financially, Safe At Home
Liz has been instrumental in the process of
                                                        stands out from government strategies and
planning, establishing, coordinating and facilitating
                                                        programs in place on the mainland, where similar,
the work of the three departments.
                                                        individual aspects of the program may be in place,
In addition, senior managers have been appointed        but where the level of coordination, commitment,
in each of the three Safe At Home departments to        resourcing and policing practice change are
coordinate the program and develop and review           absent.
their policies and protocols. Various project and
                                                        In examining government responses to domestic
policy workers within these departments have also
                                                        violence, in particular with regard to funding,
been appointed to assist with the ongoing
                                                        commitment, entrenchment of strategy and
enhancement of the program.
                                                        structure, Tasmania could well be regarded as
Coordination is also achieved through the               setting a benchmark for the rest of Australia.
establishment of a tiered coordination structure
through which policy and planning issues are
overseen and direction provided. The top tier of
this structure comprises the Safe At Home
                                                                    NEW RESOURCES
Steering Committee, which meets as necessary to
address planning and development issues. It is          Behind Closed Doors
chaired by the Premier’s Department and                 This report, the product of a partnership between
comprised of executive management of the three          UNICEF and The Body Shop, examines some of
Safe At Home departments.                               the underlying causes of domestic violence and
The second tier, at state-wide level, is the            the impact of violence in the home on children.
Interdepartmental Committee (IDC), which meets          The 8-page report is available from
weekly to discuss management and system       
issues. The IDC is chaired by the Department of         s.pdf
Justice and comprises senior departmental
representatives from the Police, Justice and
                                                        Feeling Torn – Older Women Surviving
DHHS, as well as Legal Aid, but it is open to all       Domestic Violence
workers within the Safe At Home system if there         The Western Domestic and Family Violence
are issues which need to be raised at that higher       Action Group in South Australia has produced a
level.                                                  DVD focussing on the issue of domestic violence
Three Regional Coordinating Committees (RCC)            and older women. The DVD which runs for 45
(North, North-West and South), comprising               minutes is aimed at both service providers and
regional management from the key program                older victims of domestic violence.
agencies, provide the next tier of the structure.       While it may have been better if the material had
They receive case-related problems from ICC             been clearly separated into two sections, one for
meetings and report to the IDC where issues             victims and one for service providers, this is
cannot be resolved at this level.                       nevertheless a valuable resource and will be
Finally, at a local level, the ICC meetings function    useful for those who are new to working with this
to coordinate local service provision as well as to     target group, as well as being a useful tool to
facilitate integration of responses to victims.         show women as part of a support group program.
                                                        The DVD highlights the barriers faced by women
This two-way coordination structure uniquely
                                                        in their later years who may have been out of the
characterises Safe At Home. It provides for
                                                        workforce for many years and may have endured
direction from the top, down to local levels of
                                                        many years of violence and abuse. The stories
service delivery, whilst allowing for problems and
                                                        told by the women are powerful and will be
issues which emerge at a local level to drive policy
                                                        inspiring for women who are on the path to
development and fine-tuning of the program
                                                        escaping violence and re-establishing their lives.
through to executive level. In this way, the work of

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                Newsletter No. 26                8
The group is to be commended for its work in            partnership from continuing. The RCH MHS team
raising awareness about the needs and issues            not only continued to run ‘parkas’, but developed a
faced by this particular group of women. Although       further two group work interventions – ‘just for
the DVD shows a South Australian crisis phone           kids’ (jfk) and the ‘Peek-a-Boo Club’.
number, the rest of the material is equally             The authors say, ‘This collection of papers is not
applicable in all states.                               an exhaustive attempt to capture the different
The DVD can be ordered from SAFE FAMILIES                                          work of individuals on the
PROGRAM c/o Henley and Grange Community                                            AFVP team, nor an
Centre Inc, South Australia. Ph (08) 8408 1277.                                    attempt to homogenise
                                                                                   the diversity of offerings
Safer Lives, Better Health                                                         provided by the
Understanding and responding to domestic/family                                    personalities,
violence                                                                           perspectives and
                                                                                   professionals within the
This new DVD is a well produced, high quality
                                                                                   team. This book is what
training aid, designed to improve the skills of
                                                                                   we hope will be the first
health workers and other interagency workers who
                                                                                   in a series, exploring our
deal with issues of domestic and family violence.
                                                                                   group work interventions
The DVD comes with a booklet explaining how to
                                                                                   in the area of family
use the material, and it provides suggestions on
                                                                                   violence. We hope we
the most appropriate parts of the DVD to use for
                                                        have captured the progressive nature of this work,
different purposes.
                                                        and our attempts to reconcile the complexities
The booklet also provides referral numbers for
                                                        which this work constantly throws our way, both
NSW based services. The DVD highlights the
                                                        for our client group and ourselves as
need for workers to be sensitive to the particular
needs of the client and emphasises the
importance of using appropriate screening               The book provides a comprehensive exploration of
processes as part of health service provision.          the range of programs offered and also includes a
                                                        chapter aimed specifically at fathers.
The scenarios show victims from different cultural
backgrounds, as well as the story of Brad, a gay
man who was a victim of domestic violence. The          For further information or enquiries regarding the
section of the DVD dealing with domestic/family         Addressing Family Violence Programs, please
violence in Aboriginal communities is particularly      contact Wendy Bunston or Daniella Tarle
valuable for workers needing to increase their          Telephone: (03) 9345 6011
skills in this area, as is the section showing health   Fax: (03) 9345 6010
workers and an interpreter working with a young         Email:
woman from a Chinese background. The material
                                                        or visit
illustrates the special skills needed to work
appropriately with these clients and will encourage
good practice. This is a valuable resource and
training aid which will be useful in a wide range of
organisations and training settings.
To order copies of the DVD contact ECAV via their
                                                            RECENT ADDITIONS TO
website or by phone               OUR RESEARCH AND
on (02) 9840 3737.
                                                            RESOURCES DATABASE
Addressing Family Violence Programs:
Groupwork Interventions for Infants,                    National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health
Children and their Parents                              Organisation (2006). What’s Needed to Improve
Edited by Wendy Bunston and Alexandra Heynatz           Child Abuse/Family Violence in a Social and
                                                        Emotional Well Being Framework in Aboriginal
This collection of papers celebrates 10 years of
                                                        Communities. [South Melbourne, Vic.]: Royal
group work undertaken by the Royal Children’s
                                                        Australian College of General Practitioners
Hospital Mental Health Service (RCH MHS) in
Melbourne. This is work undertaken specifically to      In June, the National Aboriginal Community
address the impact of family violence on infants        Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
and children. Commencing in 1996 in                     produced a position paper titled ‘What’s Needed
collaboration with Melton Community Health              to Improve Child Abuse/Family Violence in a
Centre, the RCH MHS co-developed the ‘parkas’           Social and Emotional Well Being Framework in
(parents accepting responsibility – kids are safe)      Aboriginal Communities.’ To address violence in
group work intervention. ‘parkas’ was run               Indigenous communities, NACCHO advocates a
collaboratively by RCH MHS and Melton                   holistic response with a health focus on healing
Community Health Centre until early 2000, when          and empowerment, which takes into account
differing service demands prevented this                issues of land rights, poverty, housing, health,

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                Newsletter No. 26                  9
education and employment. While NACCHO does             Another common theme is the need to engage key
not claim to have all the answers in redressing the     community and religious leaders to address family
devastating cycle of violence, this document            violence in CaLD communities. Settlement issues
identifies steps that can be taken now to               also mean there is a need for new and emerging
complement the work already being undertaken.           communities to be informed of Australian law and
The full report is available and is downloadable at     services within a culturally appropriate forum. The
the following site:                                     document highlights an urgent need to develop         culturally appropriate interventions and holistic
Advocacy/AboriginalandTorresStraitIslanderHealth        preventative programs that target men from CaLD
/Policyandactions/200606_nacho_framework.pdf            backgrounds who perpetrate domestic violence.
                                                        Available from
A review of literature relating to family and
domestic violence in culturally and linguistically
diverse communities in Australia. Family and            9C99BA-66BB-47A4-A2F2-
Domestic Violence Unit, Western Australian
Department of Community Development Bonar,              Management of the whole family when intimate
M. & Roberts, D. (2006)                                 partner violence is present: guidelines for
This is a literature review on issues and initiatives   primary care physicians
relating to family and domestic violence in             Victorian Community Council on Crime and
culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD)            Violence (2006)
communities in Australia. The review covers             Developed by a highly-qualified team of
statistics, national and jurisdictional research,       international specialists – led by La Trobe
good practice guidelines and models for working         University Senior Research Fellow Dr Angela Taft,
with women and families, working with children,         Associate Professor Kelsey Hegarty, from the
and working with men – as well as culturally            Department of General Practice at the University
appropriate responses to family and domestic            of Melbourne, and Professor Gene Feder, of the
violence. It finds that research has been               Department of Primary Care Research and
conducted with specific ethnic groups but that it is    Development, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine
hard to provide accurate statistics for the extent      and Dentistry, London – this set of guidelines has
and nature of domestic violence within CaLD             been published by the Victorian Government, for
communities.                                            primary care physicians (family physicians or
It suggests the need for an integrated national         general practitioners) when dealing with families
data collection system. There have been national        experiencing intimate partner violence. It includes
competency standards developed for service              definitions of intimate partner violence in all types
providers who come into contact with people from        of relationships (heterosexual, gay and lesbian,
CaLD backgrounds who are affected by family             bisexual and transgender relationships).
violence. These have provided consistency and           The set of 31 consensus recommendations are to
identified skills and knowledge needed to work in       guide primary care physicians in the identification
the field. Research findings show that many of the      and management of patients experiencing partner
agencies and service providers have supported           violence, and of their children, and of patients who
procedures that are more inclusive, but in practice     abuse. Recommendations include: discuss any
the strategies do not seem to be implemented.           parenting concerns in the partner abuse context;
New culturally appropriate models and                   assess the risk to, and adult perception of, the
interventions are required to ensure there are          impact on children; consider the risk to, and
good practice models and guidelines. It suggests        children’s perception of, the impact on their lives;
the need to focus on rural and remote communities       consider children’s access to significant
and also innovative strategies that suit Western        supportive others; offer referral of children to
Australia’s geography and demography.                   therapeutic support; report children at risk
The importance of general practitioners and the         according to mandatory laws; consider the
health system for women from CaLD backgrounds           patient’s level of fear about the children’s removal;
is highlighted, as is the lack of qualified             assess patient’s level of social support; do not
interpreters and appropriate referral strategies and    offer couple counselling in practice; and conduct
options. Research suggests that positive                ongoing monitoring of the woman victim, their
messages reinforcing community values such as           partner and children for safety and progress.
family harmony and healthy relationships may be         Recommendations on documentation include:
more effective than confronting and aggressive          document comprehensively and carefully; ensure
messages.                                               posters and leaflets in the clinic waiting area offer
A recurring theme of the literature indicates that      support and referral to the patient; seek own and
for prevention, protection of victims and provision     staff family violence training for management of
of services, the ‘one size does not fit all’ theme is   family members experiencing partner violence;
common, insofar as mainstream services are not          ensure patient file is confidential and not
equipped to deal with the complex needs of              accessible to other family members; use a clinic
marginalised groups.                                    protocol for monitoring of danger to the patient

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                Newsletter No. 26                 10
and other family members by any clinician seeing          and in particular the coping strategies, of Christian
the patient; and ensure staff safety protocol             women who identify themselves as victims of
includes the risk from and needs of those patients.       domestic abuse. Not only has domestic abuse
The guidelines, endorsed for use Australia-wide           permeated secular society, it is also present within
by the Royal Australian College of General                the Christian church, and as such can present
Practitioners, will also be adapted for Canada, the       substantial difficulty for women who desire to
UK, the Netherlands and the United States, as a           practise their faith, but find conflict between the
reflection of the collaborative research input of the     teachings of their church and the need to protect
11 universities and research institutes involved in       themselves and their children, physically and/or
their development.                                        emotionally. This thesis embraces a feminist
The guidelines can be downloaded from                     research paradigm, which identifies power and           control as key elements of domestic abuse,
ClinicalResources/RACGPGuidelines/Familywome              particularly when set within a patriarchal societal
nviolence/Intimatepartnerabuse/20060507intimate           structure which fosters the subjugation of women.
partnerviolence.pdf                                       Semi-structured interviews form the basis of this
                                                          qualitative study. A variety of strategies emerged,
                                                          both religious and non-religious, in addition to a
                                                          blend of both problem- and emotion-focused
            RECENT THESES                                 approaches. Their faith proved to be extremely
                                                          important, and also effective in the lives of the
There have been a number of recent theses that            respondents. The choice of religious coping
have looked at the issue of domestic violence:            strategies included: maintaining a relationship with
Women’s experience in court: The                          God; prayer; drawing encouragement from
implementation of feminist law reforms in civil           scripture; and scriptural song, while non-religious
proceedings concerning domestic violence                  strategies included focusing on the children;
Rosemary Hunter, JSD, Stanford University, USA            turning to activities; reading as a source of
(2006)                                                    learning and encouragement; and finally, planning
                                                          a specific course of action.
The thesis examines how civil courts hear and
understand women’s experiences of domestic                This thesis highlights the ongoing need for the
violence and explores women’s experiences in              Christian church as a whole to remain relevant to
telling their stories in such settings in Australia. It   current society by continuing to offer practical and
focuses on domestic violence intervention orders          meaningful assistance to those in need.
and family law proceedings, both of which came            Patriarchy: The Predominant Discourse and
about either partly or wholly through feminist legal      Font of Domestic Violence
activism. The thesis analyses whether new civil           Catherine Gilda Bettman, PhD, Victoria University
claims respond more to women’s experiences than           (2005)
criminal law sanctions, which some feminists claim        This study says that according to ethnographic
have had the contrary effect of silencing women.          accounts it is evident that as recently as the
Field work comprised court observations, analysis         twentieth century, there have been societies
of Family Court files and reported cases, as well         where domestic violence was absent or minimal.
as interviews with survivors of violence, lawyers         This knowledge prompted an investigation into
and support workers. The study found that, while          how discourses of different cultural groups shape
survivors of violence had considerable success in         men’s understanding of masculinity and sense of
their cases, they also felt that the legal processes      entitlement to use violence in a heterosexual
were unsatisfactory. Further findings were that           relationship. The study was qualitative, based
women’s ‘success’ did not necessarily guarantee           upon grounded theory and narrative principles.
their own or their children’s safety. There was little    Men from as many different cultural groups as
systemic acknowledgement of women’s                       possible (eg ethnic, religious, age, and class), who
experiences of violence or of the widespread              had used violence in an intimate heterosexual
nature of domestic violence, and non-feminist             relationship, were sought to participate in in-
understandings of domestic violence went                  depth, semi-structured interviews.
unchallenged.                                             After an analysis of the 24 men’s narratives, by far
Rosemary joined the Griffith Law Faculty as               the most overwhelming discovery was that cultural
Professor of Law and Director of the Socio-Legal          differences seemed to be eclipsed by the pre-
Research Centre in January 2000. She has                  eminence and strength of gendered discourse in
recently joined the Kent Law school at the                keeping with Western patriarchal dictates in
University of Kent in Canterbury, UK.                     regards to masculinity and violence. Andocentric
Domestic Abuse: Coping Strategies of                      and hegemonic masculinity, and a tolerance of
Christian Women                                           violence, were consistently evident.
Lynne Maree Baker, PhD, University of                     The Social Context of Femicide in Victoria
Queensland (2006)                                         Damon Muller, PhD, Criminology, University of
This study is an investigation of the experiences,        Melbourne (2005)

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                  Newsletter No. 26                 11
Femicide, homicide involving female victims,               effort is a team-written book on domestic
accounts for approximately one-third of all                violence, titled The Homework Book.
homicides in Australia. This study uses qualitative    •   Jane Corpuz-Brock has trained many women
data from the Coroner’s brief of evidence to               in life skills, computer literacy, and shown
examine the social context of homicides which              them how to get information about government
occurred between 1994 and 1998 in Victoria,                services, as well as raising their awareness of
Australia. All homicides for which data were               domestic violence and equity and access
available that included a female victim were               issues.
included in the study – a total of 67 victims.         •   Betty Green is recognised across NSW as a
Six social contexts of femicide were identified            source of extensive knowledge on historical
through the cases. Intimate femicide (22 cases,            and current domestic violence issues. She
33% of the sample) involved female victims who             never misses an opportunity to keep domestic
were killed by their intimate partner in a                 violence on the agenda, to deepen community
relationship characterised by jealousy,                    understanding and to find new ways to
possessiveness and violence. These intimate                address this problem. She has developed a
femicides were usually not spontaneous acts of             domestic violence cross-cultural training
rage, but planned and purposive attacks, and               package and a manual (now translated into
often occurred around separation.                          Arabic) to train workers to run ‘Respectful
Intimate homicide-suicides (9 cases, 13%) shared           Relationship’ groups.
many of the characteristics of intimate femicide,      •   Dixie Link-Gordon, a direct descendant of the
but in addition to being possessive and violent, the       south-east Queensland Gurang Gurang
offender was notably depressed, often due to               people, is an invaluable and learned advisor
financial problems. The importance of gender and           on issues affecting Aboriginal women, in
social context in understanding femicide is                particular domestic violence. She has worked
discussed.                                                 with the Redfern Women’s Domestic Violence
                                                           Court Assistance Scheme since its inception
                                                           15 years ago.
                                                       Frankston Family Violence Court
Research                                               Frankston Magistrates’ Court handles nearly 8%
                                                       of all applications for intervention orders relating
Dr Suellen Murray of RMIT University has been          to family members lodged in Victorian Magistrates’
awarded an Australian Research Council grant of        Courts. In 2005-2006 Frankston Magistrates’
$83,000 over three years to study Australian           Court finalised more than 1415 applications for
Domestic Violence Public Policy: History,              intervention orders involving family members,
Discourse and Impact, 1985-2005. The project           domestic partners and former domestic partners,
aims to provide better understanding of how            with an average of 27 orders finalised each week.
domestic violence policy has developed over time,      More than half of these orders were granted.
thereby providing assistance to government in
                                                       For this reason, Frankston has been chosen for a
formulating future policy.
                                                       court-based Specialist Family Violence Service,
Domestic Violence Crisis Payments                      similar to those already in place in Melbourne and
                                                       Sunshine Magistrates’ Courts. Frankston Court
As from 1 January 2007, women experiencing             now has additional registrar, magistrate and police
domestic violence who are receiving a social           prosecutor resources, as well as a full-time
security income support payment may be paid a          support worker to help women seeking family
one-off crisis payment of about $230 without           violence intervention orders.
having to establish a new home (as is currently
the case). This is to assist with the cost of
securing the woman’s home through changing                 LEGISLATION AND POLICY
locks and related expenses. Up to four payments
can be paid annually in an extreme circumstance.
                                                       Northern Territory reviews its legislation
2006 Edna Ryan Awards                                  The NT Department of Justice has released an
The Edna Ryan Awards are handed out annually           issues paper to seek contributions from the
to mark the achievements of NSW women,                 community on a review of the Domestic Violence
particularly in the workplace. This year, a number     Act (‘DVA’). The issues paper is designed to give
of awards were made to workers in the domestic         an overview of the DVA, to identify issues that
violence sector:                                       may need to be considered in the review of the
• Joy Goodsell, Manager at Sutherland Shire            DVA and to assist individuals and organisations to
    Family Support Services, who has worked            prepare submissions to the review.
    tirelessly over many years for women
    experiencing domestic violence. Her latest

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse               Newsletter No. 26                12
                                                         takes rigorous research to a new level while still
                  REVIEWS                                protecting the primacy of safety for women and
                                                         children. In a controversial chapter (No. 5), Kelsey
Intimate Partner Abuse and Health                        Hegarty, Gene Feder and Jean Ramsay discuss
Professionals: New Approaches to Domestic                the viability of sensitively screening women in
Violence                                                 health care settings for IPA. Continually health
Edited by Gwenneth Roberts, Kelsey Hegarty and           care professionals are confronted by the
Gene Feder                                               phenomenon of delayed disclosure. Women wait
Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier: Edinburgh,              to be encouraged to tell their confidential story of
London, New York, Philadelphia, St Louis,                horror and abuse.
Sydney, Toronto (2006)                                   The authors conclude that at this stage, ‘there is
In 1993 the United Nations declared the global           insufficient evidence of effectiveness or even the
need to eliminate violence against women and             absence of harm to implement screening
children. In its 2005 annual report the UN               programs for partner abuse in health care
indicated that violence against women was the            settings, but professionals need to be alert to cues
most socially tolerated crime across the globe.          (both overt and hidden) that women consulting
A study by VicHealth in 2004 identified domestic         them may be experiencing violence and abuse.
violence as the single greatest risk factor              Women who are young, have recently separated
associated with death, disease and disability for        or divorced, are pregnant, or are presenting with
Victorian women aged 15-44. This risk outweighs          psychological symptoms are particularly
diabetes, breast cancer and heart disease.               vulnerable’ (p89).
In this continuing context of trauma associated          The most chilling, shocking and alarming chapter
with domestic violence, we need sound evidence-          is contributed by Judy Atkinson on intimate partner
based knowledge and strategies to identify and           abuse and Indigenous peoples – Chapter 12.
intervene with survivors of intimate partner abuse       Atkinson argues that it is at the coal-face of the
within health care systems. That is why Intimate         communities that community-based education
Partner Abuse (IPA) is such an excellent and             towards resilience and resonance needs to occur.
encouraging read for professionals engaged in the        This can only be done effectively by incorporating
harrowing field of domestic violence abuse.              a holistic approach of the body-mind-spirit
A cross-fertilisation of ideas across the diverse        paradigm. ‘Resonance confirms well-being
fields of medical practitioners, nurses, social          through healthy relationships with self, with
workers, psychologists and other health                  others, within social worlds, and through
professionals, health service researchers, policy        professional practice’ (p 210).
analysts, medico-legal experts and domestic              The book continually refers to the paucity of funds
violence service providers, combine in this book to      for research and the insufficiency of resources to
sensitively and compassionately illustrate and           address the problem of widespread intimate
confront the most hidden crime in our community.         partner abuse in the community. Various authors
It is a scholarly text held together by the cleverly     point to the need for education for health care
crafted editing from Gwenneth Roberts, Kelsey            professionals (Chapter 4). ‘In addition to the need
Hegarty and Gene Feder. It is beautifully set out        for acquiring new knowledge and skills, health
with clearly defined chapters that can be read           professionals are faced with the task of
independently. For example, Chapter 2 (Hegarty)          confronting the feelings and social beliefs that
sets out the parameters of the discussion on             shape their responses to patients’ (p 63).
intimate partner abuse with close attention to the       The overwhelming experience of reading this book
various definitions of domestic violence and             is that it challenges practices, well-entrenched
abuse, as well as tackling the methodological            beliefs and prejudices. Reading this book will help
issues in the prevalence of IPA. The design and          to overcome that ignorance. It is a multi-disciplinary
colours of text make for easy reading in this            issue tackled with courage and sensitivity.
chapter and throughout the book. The tables are          This review has been written by Daniel Torpy,
uncomplicated and helpful, the references to the         Registered Psychologist and Secretary,
literature are extensive and accurate, and there is      Australasian Society of Traumatic Stress Studies
a brief summary at the end of chapters to compel         ASTSS, and edited by the Clearinghouse.
you to read further.                                     Real Rape, Real Pain: Help for Women
References and notes are copious at the end of           Sexually Assaulted by Male Partners
each chapter. The index is helpful but it lacks a        by Patricia Easteal and Louise McOrmond-
general bibliography at the end of the book that         Plummer, Hybrid Publishers
would have enhanced the publication.
                                                         Because rape/sexual assault is still subject to
The historical perspective offered by Roberts            public and judicial stereotypes of real rape, ie
(Chapter 1) is intriguing as it highlights the silence   strangers in alleyways, and because partner rape
of society through the centuries to come to grips        is not perceived to be as serious and traumatic as
with the common phenomena of family violence.            other kinds of rape, survivors have often had
In an era of evidence-based health care this book        difficulty finding information and getting support.

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                 Newsletter No. 26                  13
That has now changed.                                     sensitive criminal justice response. Local Elders
Real Rape draws on the experiences and voices             and representatives of the Community Justice
of 30 survivors of partner rape from Australia,           Group are involved during various stages of court
North America, Canada and the UK. It is a                 proceedings, from pre-trial to court day to
healing/resource book for survivors, supporters           implementation of sentencing orders. Elders sit
and professionals in the fields of counselling and        with the Magistrate on the bench and provide
advocacy internationally.                                 input into the effects of the violence on the
Real Rape, Real Pain tackles the reality of rape          families and communities, enhancing the
within intimate relationships; it forces us to confront   seriousness of proceedings for offenders.
the hidden violence in our society. It challenges         The Rockhampton Murri Court has also fostered
the silence and secrecy about relationship rape.          close collaboration with the Office of Community
As the authors say, ‘Violence is about using power        Corrections (led by Carol Willie) as well as with
and control, not about being out of control. There        local agencies working to address Indigenous
is no excuse for relationship violence ever.’             Family Violence.
The aims of the book are changing the rape                Monitoring of Rockhampton Murri Court outcomes
culture and helping survivors. Chapters cover             has shown a reduction in re-offending rates, and a
identifying rape in relationships, women at risk,         formal evaluation of the court is planned for later
staying with a partner who has raped you,                 in 2006.
sexuality after partner rape, a safety plan, and          The Rockhampton Murri Court has also had a
numerous other issues related to partner rape.            positive effect on community building. By affording
For more information about the book, please visit         respect to community Elders and Indigenous
the authors’ website at                                   families’ needs, the Court has also helped foster                                   reconciliation between the criminal justice system
                                                          and local Indigenous communities. Magistrate
                                                          Annette Hennessy, who presides at Rockhampton,
                                                          has presented several papers on the
RECENT ADDITIONS TO THE                                   Rockhampton Murri Court (see below).
GOOD PRACTICE DATABASE                                    Rockhampton Murri Court is one of several
                                                          exciting projects emerging from this tropical
The following programs have recently been added           Queensland centre, and the Good Practice
to the Good Practice Database:                            Database will be showcasing several other
                                                          Rockhampton services in the future.
The Peek-A-Boo Club
                                                          Further information is included in the following
The Peek-A-Boo Club is a groupwork program for            papers:
mothers and babies, which aims to address the
                                                          Hennessy, A., ‘Reconnection to Community as a
consequences of violence and trauma on                    Sentencing Tool’, paper presented to the Australian
mother/baby attachment. It is based at the Royal          Institute of Judicial Administrators (AIJA) 3rd
Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria and is a       International Therapeutic Jurisprudence Conference, 7-
project of the Mental Health Service of the               9 June 2006.
hospital, in collaboration with a local NGO,              Hennessy, A. and Willie, C., ‘Sentencing Indigenous
Community West. The Peek-A-Boo Club is                    Offenders in Domestic & Family Violence Matters: A
innovative in its focus, in that it is based on           Queensland Experience’, paper presented to the
recognition of the effects of witnessing violence on      Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand
very young children. The impact of abuse on               Society of Criminology (ANZSOC), 7-9 February 2006.
mothers and how this affects their attachment to          Hennessy, A. and Willie, C., ‘Ending Family Violence
their babies is also addressed through                    Program, Woorabinda’, paper presented to the Centre
discussions, play and strength-building. Peek-A-          for Domestic and Family Violence Research (CDFVR),
                                                          Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention
Boo groups have several facilitators, as the
                                                          Forum, 2-3 May 2006. Downloadable from
groups are activity-based and interactive.
Separate groups are held for mothers of young
infants and mothers with toddlers. Mothers are
referred to the Peek-A-Boo Club through a variety         Safe At Home: A Criminal Justice Framework
of agencies, including hospitals, refuges, child          for Responding to Family Violence in
protection services and early childhood workers.          Tasmania
Rockhampton Murri Court                                   Safe At Home is the Tasmanian Government’s
                                                          comprehensive, newly resourced program which
The Murri Courts in Queensland provide an
                                                          introduces a criminal justice focussed, integrated
innovative example of collaboration between
                                                          response to family violence. The program is
courts and the local Indigenous communities.
                                                          featured in this edition of the Clearinghouse
Rockhampton Murri Court is a successful rural
                                                          Newsletter. This Good Practice Entry outlines the
example of Murri Court and has been in operation
                                                          strategic, coordination and integration aspects of
since June 2003. Rockhampton Murri Court aims
                                                          Safe At Home. It is the most comprehensive
to reduce re-offending rates through the
                                                          program yet examined for the Good Practice
development of a more effective and culturally

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                  Newsletter No. 26                  14
Database, so has warranted a longer and more          African-American men, an evaluation of case
detailed entry than has been our usual practice.      management for program participants, and a
Component services, which comprise the                demonstration project of screening and mandated
program, including Tasmania Police, the Adult and     referral for mental health problems. Dr. Gondolf
Children’s Counselling Services and the Court         has authored numerous research and clinical
Support and Liaison Service, will be uploaded on      articles and several books on family violence
the Good Practice Database at a later date.           intervention, including Assessing Women
                                                      Battering in Mental Health Services and Batterer
                                                      Intervention Systems: Issues, outcomes, and
      FORTHCOMING                                     recommendations.
  CONFERENCES & FORUMS                                To register:
                                                      More information: Ph: (03) 9096 0039
National Conference on Health and Domestic
                                                      RSVP by: 31 October 2006
San Francisco, USA, 16-17 March 2007
Conference Aim:                                                  INTERNET SITES
• to advance the health care system’s response
    to domestic violence                              Media/Materials Clearinghouse
Conference Details:                         
The conference attracts the nation’s leading          The Media/Materials Clearinghouse is an
medical, public health and family violence experts    international resource for all those with an interest
from across the US with increasing international      in health communication materials: pamphlets,
participation. Workshops and plenary sessions         posters, audiotapes, videos, training materials, job
highlight the latest research and most innovative     aids, electronic media and other media/materials
clinical responses to domestic violence, with a       designed to promote public health. It is a US-
focus on the work being done by physicians,           based resource but has around 30 posters and
physician assistants, dentists, nurses, nurse         other resources listed for Australia under the
midwives, mental and behavioural health               subject of domestic violence.
providers, social workers, domestic violence
experts, and others.
                                                      NEXT NEWSLETTER
                                                      Contributions to our Newsletter are very much
Reducing family violence: The system                  needed from all States and Territories. We are
matters: Integrated family violence services          keen to ensure that information in the Newsletter
practice forum                                        is relevant to the information needs of the sector
                                                      across Australia and that it is a vehicle for
Presented by Dr Edward Gondolf
                                                      informing the sector of local developments.
Monday 6 November 2006, 12.00-4.30pm
                                                      The deadline for items for the next Newsletter is 1
Department of Human Services Conference               December 2006. Please attach photographs and
Room, Level 1, 50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne          images where available.
No To Violence, the Male Family Violence              Please contact the Information Officer on
Prevention Association and the Department of          (02) 9385 2990 or 1800 753 382.
Human Services present Dr Ed Gondolf, well-
known international researcher and speaker on
family violence, men’s behaviour change               Good practice phone line now open
programs and system responses. He is Research
Director for the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Training      The Clearinghouse has established a good
Institute (MAATI) and Professor of Sociology at       practice phone line you can call for advice and
Indiana University of Pennsylvania.                   information on issues of good practice for
Dr Gondolf will present the results of his cutting-   programs. This may include issues around project
edge research on the effectiveness of men’s           planning and evaluation, information about other
behaviour change programs in reducing family          similar programs and contacts for those programs,
violence. He conducts research on the response        as well as information about international
of the courts, mental health practitioners, alcohol   examples of good practice.
treatment clinicians and men’s behaviour change       The phone line is open on Wednesdays from
programs (referred to as ‘batterer programs’ in the   2-4pm. Ph: (02) 9385 3843.
US). Dr Gondolf was the principal investigator for
a multi-site study of men’s behaviour change
programs that included a four-year follow-up of       CORRECTION
856 men and their female partners.                    In Newsletter 25 of Winter 2006, we inadvertently
He has recently completed a four-year study of        left off the name of co-author Kylie Streater,
specialised men’s behaviour change programs for       DVIRT Coordinator, from the Practice Notes

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse              Newsletter No. 26                 15
article on Domestic Violence Intervention
Response Team (DVIRT). We apologise to Kylie
and our readers for the misinformation.
Previously we promised more detailed information
about the Heidelberg Family Violence Court for
this Newsletter. This article has been held over
until next time because of a lack of space.

Prefer to get this Newsletter by email?
If so, please let us have your email address and
we will gladly email it to you.

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse   Newsletter No. 26   16
The views expressed in this Newsletter do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Domestic and
Family Violence Clearinghouse or the Australian Government. While all reasonable care has been taken in the
preparation of this publication, no liability is assumed for any errors or omissions.
The Clearinghouse is linked to the Centre for Gender-Related Violence Studies, based in the University of New
South Wales School of Social Work. This work is copyright. Organisations have permission to reproduce parts
or whole of this publication, as long as the original meaning is retained and proper credit given. The Australian
Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse is funded by the Office for Women, Australian Government
Department of Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, through the Women’s Safety Agenda.

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse                    Newsletter No. 26                 17

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