NEW SERVICE TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDING IN TAMWORTH
A world-first service to help Aboriginal defendants comply with an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is being piloted in Tamworth, Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson announced today.
The What’s Your Plan? service, which is being piloted in 46 court locations across NSW, is aimed at reducing domestic violence within Aboriginal communities.
“Aboriginal people account for three per cent of the NSW population, but a quarter of order breaches are made by Aboriginal people,” Mr Anderson said.
Defendants in Tamworth who are offered What’s Your Plan can volunteer to meet with an Aboriginal Client and Community Support Officer to develop a tailored strategy to comply with their ADVO. They will be offered SMS reminders to help them stay on track and a follow-up call to check on their progress.
“What’s Your Plan? is about making sure Aboriginal defendants in Tamworth understand their ADVO, and address obstacles that may prevent them from complying. The program encourages them to take positive steps to change their behaviour,” Mr Anderson said.
The service, which is being piloted at selected courts at selected times, is a joint initiative of the Department of Justice’s Aboriginal Services Unit and the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Behavioural Insights Unit.
“Research shows projects with a similar structure to What’s Your Plan? have succeeded in reducing alcohol consumption and smoking and improving relationships, but this is the first time the approach has been tested in the context of ADVOs,” Mr Anderson said.
The service will be evaluated by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and the outcomes will contribute to global evidence.
“It is exciting Tamworth is taking part in an innovative program that could be adapted in other domestic and international locations if it is successful,” Mr Anderson concluded.