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SA Police mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

22 Nov 2019 2:49pm

With Monday (25 November) marking the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, South Australia Police will publish a series of positive social media posts.

Monday is also the start of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence, an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute.

To mark this SA Police will highlight 16 milestones over the past decade in support of the investigation of, and commit to preventing, violence against women.

To follow this campaign, please visit the SA Police Facebook page:

Or on Twitter: @SAPoliceNews

Note: the flowers which will be used as artwork across these posts have been drawn by Senior Constable Kate Dawson.

In February 2011 special operating guidelines were issued to provide detailed instructions to officers within Family Violence Investigation Section across the state to ensure consistent practice across the South Australia Police.

In December 2011 the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 was amended so that police could issue interim intervention orders. South Australia Police played a major role in implementing the Act which provided legislative definitions for ‘abuse’, ‘domestic abuse’ and broadened the definition ‘family relationships’.

In November 2013 the Family Safety Framework was rolled out to 19 locations across South Australia. The framework was developed to improve service responses to families most at risk of violence by ensuring services were provided in a more structured and systematic way. It also supported families in navigating the system of services available to assist them.

In 2014 South Australia Police helped develop and introduce a Risk Assessment form to assess a victim’s level of risk and that of any children at an incident involving domestic violence. The form is used by multiple agencies, including police, to ensure a consistent risk assessment process is undertaken across all agencies.

In July 2014 the Multi Agency Protection Service (MAPS) was introduced. MAPS is an interagency information sharing scheme led by South Australia Police intended to reduce the incidents and impact of domestic violence in the community. This is done by reviewing and sharing information and issuing follow up actions to participating agencies. Agencies who participate include SA Police, Department for Correctional Services, Department for Child Protection, Department for Education, South Australian Housing Authority, SA Health, and the Women’s Safety Services SA.

In November 2014 the Family and Domestic Violence Section of South Australia Police was established to provide overarching leadership to guide, direct and coordinate the police response to domestic abuse. The Family and Domestic Violence Section oversee the functions and responsibilities of the individual Family Violence Investigation Sections throughout each District and Area within SA Police.

In February 2015, as a result of an internal review, the Commissioner of Police established the Domestic Abuse Portfolio Governance Committee. The committee meets monthly and ensures the commitment of South Australia Police to the effective response and reduction of domestic abuse and repeat victimisation within the community is timely, appropriate and quality assured.

In May 2016, following a corporate review, the South Australia Police Family and Domestic Violence Section developed a Domestic Violence Investigators Course. This was to provide all Family Violence officers and Criminal Investigation Branch members with specialist knowledge and skills to conduct Domestic Violence investigations professionally and appropriately.

In June 2016 White Ribbon Australia acknowledged the commitment of South Australia Police to eliminating violence against women in the workplace and awarded White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation. Having the workplace accreditation is recognised as having value in achieving attitudinal and behavioural change as it embeds a common set of expectations, values, policies and practices in employees.

In November 2016 South Australia Police started a trial with a non-government domestic violence service, the Women’s Safety Services SA (WSSSA). Two South Australia Police Family Violence Intervention Officers were co-located to a Multi-Agency Hub alongside WSSSA in Mile End. The Hub provides an integrated response to victims of family and domestic violence and assists them in accessing counselling, housing and other support services.

In 2017 the South Australia Police Domestic Violence Strategy was updated. The 2017-2022 strategy provides an overarching corporate framework which sets a clear direction for SA Police employees responding to domestic violence. It reflects the current National and State strategies and priorities including recommendations from the Council of Australian Governments Advisory Panel on reducing violence against women and their children.

In September 2017 the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme was rolled out across the country. The scheme incorporates legislation into each State and Territory to allow Domestic Violence Orders issued in one policing jurisdiction to be automatically recognised and enforced across Australia. Previously victims would need to re-register an order if relocating to a new jurisdiction.

In October 2018 the Public Protection Branch was established merging a number of existing branches within South Australia Police. The branch supports and coordinates the police response to family and domestic violence, sexual crime investigation, vulnerable victims including elder abuse, child sex-offenders, child protection, multi-agency initiatives and high risk offender management.

In October 2018 the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme was implemented. The scheme allows for South Australian residents aged 17 years or older, who have concerns about their safety in relation to a current or former partner (where there is ongoing contact) to apply to SA Police for all relevant information to be disclosed. The disclosure allows a person at risk to make an informed decision about their safety and undertake safety planning.