Charmed & Dangerous

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Safety Planning

Think of ideas that will help keep you safe and put them in to action. Here are some things you can do now to make it safer for you and your children.

Safety during an abusive incident

  • Be aware of all exit routes and safety spots for you and your children
  • Seek support from neighbours to call the police if they hear a disturbance
  • Develop a safety plan for your children; how to call 000, how to safely exit the house and how to get help
  • Important documents/medications kept in an accessible place to take with you
  • Phone police as soon as you can
  • Seek medical support for any injuries
  • Keep a diary of violent incidents, including dates.

Safety at Work

  • Inform someone at your workplace about your current situation
  • Avoid taking the same route to work each day
  • Develop a safety plan for arriving and leaving work

Where to From Here

A few things to remember when seeking support are:

  • Violence is NEVER acceptable and violence is a CRIME
  • You are not to blame for the abuse. Abusers make decisions about their behaviour
  • Domestic violence has a damaging effect on children, extended families and communities

Domestic Violence Crisis Support Provides 24/7 counselling, information and referrals to women’s refuges and services that offer support, guidance and legal advice. NSW Domestic Violence Line:

1800 656 463

Lifeline & Kids Helpline

National 24/7 crisis telephone counselling, information and referral services.

Lifeline: 131 114

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

Doctor

Your GP can offer a wide range of emotional and medical support services, as well as access to Medicare-funded counselling.

Safe Beds for Pets

Provides temporary housing for pets of women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence, allowing them to secure their own safety and make arrangements for the future. (02) 9782 4408

Women’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Services and Safer Pathway

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs) are locally based, independent services for women and their children who have experienced domestic violence. WDVCASs can provide you with information, support and referrals and help you get legal protection through the court, such as supporting you with an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) You can find your nearest WDVCAS by calling 1800 938 227.

When police attend a domestic violence incident, or you go to the police station to report an incident, they will assess the level of threat to your safety. A specialist domestic violence worker from the local WDVCAS will then contact you talk about your safety and discuss your needs and the services that are available to support you in your area.

If you are assessed as at serious threat (or high risk) due to domestic violence, the worker may talk with you about a referral to a Safety Action Meeting. These meetings are attended by local government and non- government agencies who will consider the risks to your safety develop actions aimed at reducing the threat to you and your children’s safety. After your matter is discussed at the meeting, the specialist worker will call you to discuss whether you wish to accept any of the services offered.

Your Legal Rights

Every woman has a right to live in a safe and peaceful home with her children. Police can make an application on their behalf for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) to protect them from future threats and/or violence. An ADVO is an order made by the court to protect people from future harm. The ADVO restricts the behaviour of the person they fear. This order can prohibit the abuser from returning to the home, going to your work, or to your child’s school. An ADVO is not a criminal charge unless the violent person breaches the order.

An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is an order made by a court to restrict the behaviour of the abuser. The purpose of an ADVO is to protect you from violence, harassment or intimidation.

Things to remember about ADVOs

  • An ADVO can be varied (amended) to ensure your safety if you want to maintain contact or continue to live with the abusive person.
  • An ADVO is not a criminal conviction. However the police may feel that criminal charges should be laid separately to maintain you and your children’s safety.
  • When the ADVO is broken or breached the abuser may be charged with a criminal offence. For this to occur you must report all breaches to the Police

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCAS)

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services are locally based independent services for women and children seeking help and information about domestic and family violence and how to get protection through the Local Court..

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services are funded by Legal Aid NSW.

For more information about ADVOs or your nearest Women’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Service, call 1800 938 227.

LawAccess NSW

A free government telephone service that provides legal information, advice and referrals for people who have a legal problem in NSW.

Phone: 1300 888 529

DON’T FORGET TO ASK ABOUT FINANCIAL HELP FROM VICTIMS SERVICES

The above content is adapted from the Charmed and Dangerous: A Womens Guide to Reclaiming a Healthy Relationship, has been developed for women by women. This booklet was the initiative of the Tweed Shire Women Services Inc.