Family Violence and Disability Forum
Women with Disabilities Victoria and DV Vic held a forum on family violence and disability on Wednesday 1 November 2017 to discuss emerging issues and opportunities for collaboration in the context of current reforms. Thank you to everyone who participated in the forum.
Code of Practice
The Code of Practice for Specialist Family Violence Services for Women and Children was developed in 2006. Agencies funded to provide specialist family violence services are required adhere to the DV Vic Code of Practice as part of their service agreement with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The Code interlinks with other relevant codes and professional practice guides, to promote a shared understanding of the gendered nature and dynamics of family violence and build consistent responses to women and children who experience family violence.
- provides a model of best practice for specialist family violence services for women and children in Victoria
- provides a foundation for reflective practice and best practice approaches
- ensures consistent, transparent and accountable practice across specialist family violence services for women and children ‘
- provides guidance for effective integration and collaboration with other community service providers and agencies.
Revising the Code of Practice is a priority for DV Vic, consistent with the reforms recommended by the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.
More information on corresponding Codes of Practice and performance standards for a range of important services involved in the delivery of family violence services is available on The Lookout website.
Working with media
The media play an important role in influencing community attitudes and values. Media representations of violence against women can help to change or reinforce damaging social beliefs.
DV Vic has produced resources to assist specialist family violence, prevention and other workers in working with the news and social media to support the prevention of violence against women.
DV Vic also hosts the EVA Media Action Group. This group of family violence and prevention of violence against women specialists meets quarterly to build collaboration, consistency and best practice in the area of media, communications and prevention of violence against women. Please contact Vanessa Born for more information.
Risk Assessment and Management Panels (RAMPs)
A Risk Assessment and Management Panel (RAMP) is a regular meeting of nominated local organisations to share information and act to keep women and their children at high risk of serious injury or death from family violence safe. There are 18 RAMPs across Victoria.
RAMPs are an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic), Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria and No to Violence have partnered with DHHS to develop training and support good practice amongst RAMP members. Local panels began meeting in June 2016 and core members have attended a two-day training program.
DV Vic employs RAMP Development Officer, Catherine Plunkett to work with RAMP Co-ordinators, Chairs and members to support the operation of the RAMPs and to ensure high quality and consistent processes across the state.
Each RAMP is co-chaired by a representative from a specialist women’s family violence service and Victoria Police. RAMP core members include representatives of Community Corrections, DHHS housing, clinical mental health services, alcohol and drug services, men’s family violence services, Child FIRST and child protection.
Cases can be referred to RAMPs by contacting your local women’s and children’s family violence service. A comprehensive CRAF risk assessment will be conducted for each case to determine whether the perpetrator presents a serious and imminent threat to the victim(s). RAMP is not a first response to family violence cases and cases will only be considered at RAMP when the usual service response is not sufficient to reduce the level of threat posed by the perpetrator.
Given that RAMPs target only the highest-risk family violence cases, they will consider only a small number of reported family violence cases in Victoria. However, the positive impact they are likely to have on how organisations approach family violence and inter-agency relationships, will help many more women and children.
For more information on the RAMPs, including RAMP operational guidelines, please see http://www.thelookout.org.au/resources/family-violence-other-professionals/risk-assessment-and-management-panels-ramps