1. Strangulation awareness workshops
Strangulation legislation came into effect in December 2018 and at the end of February 2019, Police had made hundred of arrests.
Since 2016 we have conducted workshops focusing on strangulation in the context of IPV. The workshop objectives focus on understanding the dynamics of strangulation within intimate partner violence, prevalence, signs and symptoms, and recommended actions for victims and advocates. A strangulation brochure has been developed to summarise the key obectives.
While specific sessions on strangulation have been conducted, some expanded sessions include information relating to traumatic brain injury and sexual assault. Where strangulation may result in an anoxic brain injury (similar to concussion – TBI), the effects of TBI are not necessarily recognised. Similarly strangulation events associated with sexual assault increase risk factors relating to femicide and threats to harm children. This information forms the basis for our discussions on risk assessment and safety planning.
Feedback has been consistently positive with many participants welcoming new information and considering how this information should improve current local practice. To see feedback from recent sessions, click here.
Examples of flyers produced by local community groups follow:
2. Risk Assessment in the context of IPV (Introduction)
Risk assessment is one of the key activities contributing to a robust safety plan. Risk is not static and assessments should be reviewed at each interaction with the victim or client – as situations change and additional information may become available.
Over the past few years we have conducted workshops, sharing our understanding of the basics of risk assessment and safety planning in the context of IPV. While agencies may utilise their own risk assessment and management frameworks there are common factors that everyone should consider. Our work is drawn from national and international examples.
3. Safety Planning - Towards Well-being
Safety planning leading to safer families and whanau is the result of effective information sharing, collaboration and timely risk assessment. The recent publication ‘Becoming Better Helpers’ together with information summarised in the 5th Report from the Family Violence Death Review Committee provides valuable insights into how to frame (or rather reframe) family violence information, and most important to get the voice and experiences of the victim into the safety planning process. One-size-fits-all templates are no longer the standard.
Our presentations and workshops raise important aspects to consider in the safety planning process, together with providing the opportunity to constructively discuss current organisational and community practice.
4. Collaboration & information sharing - community workshops
ISR (Integrated Safety Response) and SAMs are the current national-led examples of multi-agency collaborative initiatives seeking to address the challenges associated with effective responses to family violence. The latest evaluation of these pilots has just been published on the Family Violence Clearinghouse website.
Rob Veale has been involved in initiatives involving family violence inter-agency partnerships throughout the country over the past 20 years. We would suggest while technology improves and resourcing may increase, the underlying principles and risks affecting effective collaboration remain. For example, work completed with the Family Violence Intervention Group (FVIG) in the Wairarapa resulted in significant progress being achieved in rebuilding the inter-agency approach, leading to reductions in family violence events, repeat victimisation and enhanced safety for victims of violence. A copy of the first four pages of a best practice manual is included.
Lessons from this work are still applicable to many, if not all other communities with a desire to improve their inter-agency (not multi-agency) responses to family violence.
Contact us to discuss how we can help in any of the above topic areas..