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Issued: Thursday, 26 September 2015
Nearly 6,000 victims of domestic violence in Orange and Waverley have been referred for help through the NSW Government's It Stops Here: Safer Pathway reforms in the first 12 months of operation, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward today announced. Ms Upton visited the Waverley Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service to mark the one year anniversary and to speak with staff. "The staff and agencies supporting both Orange and Waverley have been pioneers for the Safer Pathway model, with more women, children and men safer now because of their efforts," Ms Upton said. "Put simply, Safer Pathway makes it easier for people escaping domestic violence to get the help they need when they need it most. The model brings together the collective expertise and experience of both government and non-government services to give people holistic help. "Victims have been linked to support services, from counselling to, which has made it easier and safer for them to move on. For example, one client feared for her safety after her partner tried to strangle her while on the drug ice. Through Safer Pathway, she was connected to counselling, given a GPS safety alarm and safety planning and linked to support at court." Ms Goward said while visiting both foundation sites she was impressed to see the collaboration between government and non-government organisations, working to better help those who need support to escape domestic and family violence. "Courageous victims who have been left traumatised and terrified no longer have to shop around to get the services they need nor do they have to re-tell their story to a multitude of government agencies," Ms Goward said. A key part of the NSW Government's Domestic and Family Violence Reforms, Safer Pathway started in Orange and Waverley in September 2014 and has now been rolled out to four more sites including Tweed Heads, Parramatta, Bankstown and Broken Hill. Safer Pathway is designed to reduce the threat of serious harm, further injury or death to victims of domestic violence. The model creates a streamlined, integrated referral pathway for all victims who are 'at Threat' or at 'Serious Threat' to their life, health or safety as a result of domestic violence. Every time police attend a domestic violence incident, they complete a risk assessment and send the victim's details to a Local Coordination Point. These are hosted by the local Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services funded by Legal Aid NSW.