IT may seem counter-intuitive, but those tasked with reducing the causes and incidences of domestic violence, welcome an increase in the number of cases reported to police.
“It means that those affected have faith in the system,” said Housing Plus Domestic Violence Services manager Penny Dordoy.
Ms Dordoy is referring to Safer Pathways, an integrated approach to helping those who have been victims of domestic violence.
The program has been in operation for 12 months and through an innovative approach to information sharing, is showing significant changes throughout the community.
One of the important aspects of the program is that victims cannot be negatively affected in any way.
“Many victims of domestic violence live in social housing,” Ms Dordoy said.
“They no longer have to worry about their tenancy coming into threat by reporting incidences to the police.”
Indeed a recent episode highlights the advantage of reporting to police.
“After a recent incident with a former partner, a client that lived in social housing had a security assessment made where the Housing NSW coordinator decided that new door and window locks were needed,” Ms Dordoy said
“The job was done in four hours now that the Housing NSW is part of the team.”
The team also includes Community Corrections, NSW Police and NSW Health.
Every fortnight the team meets at Housing Plus and shares valuable information to help stem the rise of domestic violence in Orange.
“The police were recently searching for a perpetrator to serve him with an Aggravated Violence Order (AVO),” Ms Dordoy said.
“During the meeting the police recognised his name when Community Corrections mentioned that he was due to give a urine sample at NSW Health.
“The police met him there and were able to serve him the AVO.”
Twelve months ago, none of this information sharing existed and not only are more incidences being reported, but morale within the agencies is rising too.
“Previously we were in isolation, but now we’re one cohesive group that is really seeing results,” Ms Dordoy said.
For all the positives with the new approach there is always room for improvement.
“There is a glaring gap in crisis accommodation, we desperately need places for people to go to in and around Orange.”