New domestic violence service to better serve South Australian women
Premier Jay Weatherill will today launch the new Women’s Safety Services South Australia, an amalgam of three existing South Australian domestic violence services.
The Central Domestic Violence Service, Migrant Women’s Support Service and the Domestic Violence and Aboriginal Family Violence Gateway Service will now come under the WSSSA banner.
The amalgamation will reduce administrative costs, provide greater flexibility in terms of staffing arrangements and enable more streamlined service delivery.
The WSSSA will continue to provide all programs offered by the previous providers, including the Domestic Violence Serial Offender Database and the Women’s Safety Contact Program, both of which are funded by the South Australian Government.
It will also be funded to provide a liaison service between specialist domestic violence services and existing partner agencies of the Multi Agency Protection Service.
WSSSA centralises services at one new space in Mile End where women and children will take part in risk assessments, risk and safety reports, safety planning and children’s support.
The Women’s Safety Services South Australia was established as a result of a collaborative effort between Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS), the Central Domestic Violence Service and Migrant Women’s Support Services in 2016.
WSSSA is a women’s domestic and family violence service that provides an integrated response through the provision of specialised, accessible and flexible models of service delivery.
The service’s framework is underpinned by a safety-first approach which seeks to ensure that the safety and empowerment of women is paramount in all aspects of service delivery and advocacy.
Premier Jay Weatherill said:
The protection of women and children is a priority of the South Australian Government, and we are embarking on a range of measures that ensure Government-funded services meet the needs of those affected by domestic and family violence.
Merging these three organisations will help to ensure the long-term viability of domestic violence services in South Australia.
Significantly, the new organisation will provide a more seamless pathway for women seeking support.
Minister for the Status of Women Zoe Bettison said:
The new headquarters will not only house existing domestic violence services, but also Family Violence Officers from South Australia Police and representatives from the Department for Correctional Services.
I’m very pleased that all existing staff from the three previous services have been retained.
I’d like to thank all of these staff for their dedication and commitment and for providing continuity of service to clients throughout this process.
WSSSA Executive Director Maria Hagias said:
Women’s Safety Services of SA is an historic milestone in women’s services for SA.
Our model of support ensures the sharing of information across services, builds the capacity across programs and departments. This will also mean that at a time of significant trauma for women we will minimize her anxiety by eliminating her having to tell her story more than once.
When addressing violence against women we will now be utilising the knowledge and expertise of specialist responses that will all be housed together in one place.