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GCDVIR KEY PROGRAMS

The GCDVIR manages the following programs:
 

Police Assisted Referrals Program (PAR)

This program (formerly known as the Fax Back Project) began in 1998 as a partnership between the Queensland Police Service Gold Coast District and the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc.  The program promotes access to support, information and referral for victims of domestic violence when the police are called to respond to a domestic violence related incident.

When the police attend an address for domestic violence they will seek the consent of the victim to refer the details of the incident and her personal information to the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. The domestic violence worker will contact the woman to determine the risks and undertake safety planning, refuge referral and support if required.

This program is linked to the Court Assistance Program and the Men’s Domestic Violence Education and Intervention Program. Relevant information, including court outcomes, bail conditions and future court hearings, is shared across programs.  Domestic violence workers maintain regular contact with the woman while her partner or ex-partner is in the Domestic Violence Education and Intervention Program.


Hospital Referral Program

This program is a partnership between the Gold Coast Hospital Social Work Department and the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc.  Social workers from the Southport and Robina Hospitals assist women who present at hospital with domestic violence injuries to access support.  Social workers also assist those who disclose domestic violence while in hospital for other matters. 

With the consent of the woman, social workers fax the woman’s contact details, personal information, any safety concerns and other relevant information (including the incident that led to her presentation at hospital) to the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc.  A domestic violence counsellor contacts the woman to identify safety risks and needs, to undertake safety planning and offer her information and refuge referral if needed.


Domestic Violence Court Support Information Advocacy Program (DVCSIA)

The Domestic Violence Court Support Information Advocacy Program (DVCSIA) works from the Southport and Coolangatta Magistrates Courts. This program provides information and support to women accessing the court for legal protection under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act (1989). The program supports women to take action to protect themselves and their children. The Court Assistance Program works closely with the police, court registrar and court staff. This collaborative approach to domestic violence prioritises women and children’s safety.

The program offers information about:

  • Court procedures;
  • Applying for a Domestic Violence Protection Order or to vary an existing order;
  • Criminal matters arising before the court;
  • Safety planning;
  • Pre court visit and orientation;
  • Preparation in giving evidence;
  • Support in the courtroom;
  • Post-court debriefing;
  • Referral to the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. and other agencies; and
  • Liaison and advocacy with police prosecutions.

In 1992 the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. contributed to the design of a secure domestic violence office and safe waiting room at Southport courthouse alongside the domestic violence court.  This space increases the safety of women attending court for domestic violence related matters. The DVCSIA program works from this office which includes:

  • Reception area;
  • Secure waiting room;
  • Private interview room with a table for writing;
  • Distressed witness room;
  • Safe entry and exit to and from the courtroom;
  • Tea and coffee making facilities;
  • Toys and children’s activities;
  • Rest room; and
  • Staff office space

 

Men’s Domestic Violence Education and Intervention Program (MDVEIP)

This program is a partnership between the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. and Queensland Corrective Services. It began in March 2000 as a sanction for the court to use for men convicted of domestic violence related offences in lieu of a fine. The program is ordered as a condition of a probation order or a parole order for men who are convicted of a domestic violence related offence. If the offender is in agreement the court can add the MDVEIP as a condition to Community Based Orders supervised by Probation and Parole. Parole Boards can also add the MDVEIP as a condition to Parole Orders. Additionally, Probation and Parole Officers can issue offenders with a Reasonable Direction to undertake the program.  Referral into the program in lieu of a sentence of imprisonment is not appropriate.

The program uses the Domestic Abuse Intervention Model developed by Ellen Pence and Michael Paymar in Duluth, Minnesota, United States.  This curriculum prioritises the safety of women and children. The Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. establishes and maintains regular contact with female partners of offenders in the program and provides feedback to program facilitators on their safety. Women are offered telephone support, counselling appointments, support groups and information about the men’s program.

Rigorous screening, monitoring and risk and safety checks have been incorporated into the program. Risk assessment forms an integral element of the program and is supported in all aspects of program design and management. Program participants are required to sign a detailed contract outlining requirements, safety mechanisms and sanctions for non-compliance. The group is run as an open on-going group for 50 weeks each year and it is a rolling program with offenders commencing at the start of one of the 8 themes. Each theme is delivered over a 3-week period with offenders attending the MDVEIP for a minimum of 24 weeks depending upon their compliance with the program contract.  

Each participant attends a minimum of 24 group sessions of 2 hours duration. Each program session is open to observers from women’s services and member agencies of the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Integrated Response.


Safety First Program

This is a joint program between Macleod Accommodation and Support Service, Majella House Women’s Refuge and the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. The program aims to improve the safety of women and their children when they move on from refuge accommodation.  On leaving the refuge, staff share information about the woman’s circumstances, risk and security information with the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. This ensures the woman receives information about on-going support available to her after she leaves the refuge and assists Domestic Violence Prevention Centre staff to provide an immediate response in case of future crisis or if on-going support is required. Participation in this program is voluntary.   The following information is shared:

  • Woman’s name;
  • Children’s names and ages;
  • Dates of admission and departure from the refuge;
  • New address;
  • Partner’s details;
  • Risk assessment;
  • Safety planning; and
  • Other relevant information.

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