As a child … I felt really excluded from court proceedings … therefore, a recommendation would be to check with what the child knows and what they want during key moments throughout the process. They may not want to know/care and that’s fine too – but providing some sense of autonomy and control would have been great. – Heshani, victim survivor
The ways to get help can be very confusing for victim survivors, especially when they need support from lots of different places. Housing, school, work, health and wellbeing, court and the legal system are just some of the areas people may need support from. This can end up being left to the victim survivor to talk to all the different people involved, or they can get completely left out of conversations about their own life.
There are some good examples of coordination in local areas where workers are supporting victim survivors in a wraparound way to get the support they need. Unfortunately, this is not being supported by the broader systems because of a lack of money and strict reporting needs. It is important that family violence workers who help with lots of different supports keep talking and working with each other, so individuals and families get the help they need without having to retell their experiences over and over again.
The Royal Commission spoke about the need for a service navigator role which would work with victim survivors to provide practical, guiding, timely support from crisis through to recovery. There needs to be more clarity about whose role it is to do this. There may be an opportunity here for lived experience workers to provide this support to victim survivors.
But what can be done?
We have suggested the following actions for the Victorian Government to tackle these problems (see full list for all 16 suggested actions(opens in a new window)):
We have suggested actions 1, 2, 4, 5 & 12 for the Victorian Government to tackle these problems.
Taking a more victim-centred approach
- Be clear about whose job it is to help victim survivors work out what help they need.
- Find ways for workers from police, courts, The Orange Door and family violence services to work better together
- Keep asking the Australian Government to fix the problems that we know affect victim survivors in the following areas: immigration law, Medicare, Centrelink and the family law system.
Make sure victim survivors can access the supports they need
Make sure that victim survivors can get help with financial support and the law.
Funding to help services support victim survivors' needs
When giving funding to services, make sure they are focused on providing victim survivors with a good experience every time.