With the passing of measures in NSW today which will see an increase in the length of provisional apprehended domestic violence orders (ADVOs) from 28 days to six months, domestic violence workers want to see a boost in resources for specialist domestic violence teams within the NSW Police Force.
A critical change needed is senior specialist domestic violence police oversight of domestic violence related charges and provisional ADVOs to ensure orders which may be in place for some time are both appropriate and well-tailored to the individual circumstances of each case.
Further, it is essential that police have sufficient capacity to return children who are subject to shared care arrangements to a safe parent/ caregiver where this presents as an issue, and that High-Risk Offender Teams can maintain their effective monitoring of high-risk offenders during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Right now, the way the service system is set up, women and children are very reliant upon police for their safety, and with these new changes, this reliance has become even heavier” says Women’s Safety NSW chief executive officer, Hayley Foster.
“In our experience in having case workers working with specific community groups, it is absolutely vital at this time when we are seeing an increased risk of domestic violence and abuse that the police are well resourced to provide consistent, reliable, tailored responses. We must do everything we can to support women and children and other vulnerable groups in their safety in these periods of escalating risk.” says Tanya Whitehouse OAM, Coordinator of Macarthur Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service…
“Police are performing a most crucial role during a most difficult time” says Whitehouse “And we need to ensure they are resourced to carry out this role to the very best of their abilities. This means an injection of funding for their specialist domestic violence teams. This really is going to be a central plank in ensuring women and children’s safety during the COVID-19 crisis.”