The NSW Government will invest more than $200,000 in two ground-breaking projects being developed in Newcastle, one aimed at supporting young people involved in the justice system and the other supporting people experiencing domestic and family violence.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said both projects have the potential to change the lives of people who come into contact with the justice system.
“The Newcastle Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service will receive $83,000 to develop a video for people experiencing domestic and family violence, which will explain the process for giving evidence in the Local Court,” Mr Speakman said.
“The video will be available on-demand for domestic violence victim-survivors who cannot attend pre-hearing clinics run by various Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services in NSW and the NSW Police.
“Pre-hearing clinics prepare domestic violence victim-survivors before they attend court, helping them to understand the court process. However, some people face barriers to attending these face-to-face clinics including people of culturally and diverse backgrounds, people who live in remote Aboriginal communities and isolated regional areas, male victims and people with disabilities.
“This video is another way to provide that information and support victim-survivors of domestic and family violence through what is already a traumatic, challenging process.”
The videos will be available on-demand in a number of languages, including English, Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi and Vietnamese.
Mr Speakman said the NSW Government will also provide $125,000 for the University of Newcastle’s youth justice project “Now.See.Hear”.
“These funds will be used to develop a culturally safe screening tool which will better inform youth justice professionals’ understanding of the trauma-related backgrounds of youth aged 12 to 25 years who are involved in the justice system,” Mr Speakman said.
“This screening tool will be developed with Aboriginal leadership and use visual and narrative methods consistent with Aboriginal ways of ‘knowing and doing’ to identify prior trauma. and improve youth justice practitioners’ capacity to respond adequately.
“The project has the potential to deliver a broad impact across NSW, with training videos to be made freely available to caseworkers, detention staff, police, lawyers, and judicial officers.”
Mr Speakman said both grants have been made available through the NSW government’s Access to Justice Innovation Fund (AJIF), a $1 million, four-year initiative which aims to improve access to the justice system, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
Learn more about the Access to Justice Innovation Fund.