Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders and Order 6

Women’s Safety NSW conducted a state-wide survey of our members of frontline domestic and family violence specialists, primarily Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs). Our survey of frontline domestic and family violence specialists aimed to obtain the opinions, perspectives, expertise and experiences of these members from their engagement with ADVO and related legal processes. The survey was open for 23 days from the 13th April 2021 to the 6th May 2021. Women’s Safety NSW received 44 responses from a diverse cohort of frontline domestic and family violence specialists, with 25 of the 27 WDVCASs state-wide services responding. These responses provided valuable insight into the challenges faced by victim-survivors in navigating various legal frameworks within domestic and family violence sectors. 

Specifically, these responses highlight the need for service improvement and legal reform to ensure victim-survivors seeking legal protection from their abusers can feel supported, safe and informed at all stages of these processes. The geographical location of respondents were as follows: metropolitan, 18.18% (N=8/44); regional, 54.54% (N=24/44); rural, 27.7% (N=12/44); and remote, 4.55% (N=2/44). Of these, 95.45% (N=42/44) worked for WDVCAS; 2.27% (N=1/44) worked for SHLV; and 2.27% (N=1/44) worked for Women’s Counselling Services. 77.27% (N=34-44) stated that they had worked in the service for the last 24 months. The positions of respondents who chose to identify varied from SAM Coordinator 11.36% (N=5/44), Manager 22.72% (N=10/44), Domestic Violence Specialist Worker 20.45% (N=9/44), Aboriginal Focus Worker or Aboriginal Specialist 4.54% (N=2/44), and other positions such as SHLV Case Manager, and Youth Focused Case Worker. 

A forum was also held with 9 Indigenous domestic violence frontline workers on Wednesday the 7th of July 2021 from both metropolitan and regional areas. This forum spoke to the issues addressed in the following report, and gave space to have a conversation around the specific experience of Indigenous frontline workers and their clients. The data from this forum will be used throughout the report.