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General information about Safer Pathway

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Why have I been referred to Safer Pathway?

You have been referred to Safer Pathway because the NSW Police or another service has identified that you have experienced domestic or family violence.

How can Safer Pathway help?

Safer Pathway specialist domestic violence support workers can help you by:

  • Listening to your experience
  • Doing a safety assessment with you
  • Providing you with information about what help is available
  • Connecting you to services and support to assist with your needs including:
    • accommodation or housing
    • counselling
    • financial assistance
    • legal advice and support
    • support through the court process
    • other helpful services and supports

What is a safety assessment?

We need to understand the level of risk to your safety so that we know how we can help you. We work this out by using the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool (DVSAT).

After a report about domestic and family violence is made to NSW Police, a police officer will ask you questions from the DVSAT to understand the situation. The Safer Pathway support worker who contacts you will also ask questions about your safety.

Some of these questions may be confronting, but they have been developed to assess the level of risk to you and your child/ren.

The questions are mostly about the person who threatened or harmed you.

These questions also ask you about your fears and concerns so that we can help address these.

What happens if I am assessed as at ‘serious threat’?

This tells us that there are serious concerns around your safety. If you are assessed as at ‘serious threat’, the support worker will make a referral to the next Safety Action Meeting.

What are Safety Action Meetings?

Safety Action Meetings are fortnightly meetings of government and non-government service providers in your local area.

At the meeting, service providers will share relevant information and develop actions to reduce the threat to your safety.

Who attends the Safety Action Meeting?

Safety Action Meetings are led by NSW Police and a member of the local Safer Pathway domestic and family violence support service for women. The meetings are also attended by representatives from:

  • NSW Health
  • Housing
  • Child Protection
  • Education
  • Corrective Services NSW
  • Key relevant non-government service providers in the local area

If a matter concerning a male victim-survivor is discussed at a Safety Action Meeting, a support worker from the Safer Pathway support service for men will also attend.

Do I attend the Safety Action Meeting?

No, you and your family do not attend the meeting.

The person who has hurt you will not be told the meeting is taking place, be allowed to attend the meeting either or have access to any information discussed.

The meetings are designed for service providers only.

What kind of information will be shared at the Safety Action Meeting?

A service provider will only share information necessary to prevent or reduce a serious threat to your life, health or safety.

This information may be about:

  • A service provider’s interaction with you, your children or the person who hurt you
  • Previous reported domestic and family violence
  • Relevant court or child protection proceedings

At the meeting, service providers will develop specific actions to help reduce the threat to you and your family. These actions are for service providers to complete after the meeting.

What happens after the Safety Action Meeting?

The Safer Pathway support worker will tell you what was agreed at the meeting.

You do not have to do anything as a result of the Safety Action Meeting. If a service provider offers a service or option for you, it is your choice to accept this or not.

What if I do not want to be referred to a Safety Action Meeting?

The Safer Pathway support worker will ask for your consent before they refer you to a Safety Action Meeting. You can let them know if you do not want to be discussed at the meeting.

However, if it is considered that you are in a very dangerous situation, you will be referred to the Safety Action Meeting without your consent. The purpose of this sharing of information with other service providers is to protect your life, health or safety.

If you are referred without your consent, the Safer Pathway support worker will let you know. The Safer Pathway support worker will also tell you why this information was shared.

If you are referred to a Safety Action Meeting without your consent, it is still your choice to engage with service providers and accept the suggestions they offer after the meeting.

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Last updated: 19 Apr 2021