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Mandatory reporting of domestic and family violence Natalie Bellew Manager Domestic and Family Violence Policy Team Email: stopfamilyviolence.ths@nt.gov.au Website www.stopfamilyviolence.nt.gov.au. Domestic and Family Violence Policy Team. Our role Who we are Legislation

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Mandatory reporting of domestic and family violence

Natalie Bellew

Manager

Domestic and Family Violence Policy Team

Email: stopfamilyviolence.ths@nt.gov.au

Website www.stopfamilyviolence.nt.gov.au

domestic and family violence policy team
Domestic and Family Violence Policy Team
  • Our role
  • Who we are
  • Legislation
  • Systems to embed reporting responsibilities
  • What can you do?
domestic and family violence policy team1
Domestic and Family Violence Policy Team
  • Our role
    • Whole of government responsibility for domestic and family violence
    • Lead agency responsible for implementing mandatory reporting of domestic and family violence
    • $15M over three years to implement mandatory reporting
  • Who we are
    • New team
    • Family and Individual Support Services, NT Families and Children
new nt domestic violence legislation
New NT Domestic Violence Legislation
  • The legislation aims to make reporting domestic and family violence everyone’s responsibility

The amendment to the Domestic and Family Violence Act became law in the NT on

12 March 2009

what does it mean
What does it mean?
  • Every adult in the NT over the age of 18 must report to the Police if they believe either:
    • Another person has caused, or is likely to cause, serious physical harm to someone whom they are in a domestic relationship with

and/or

    • The life or safety of another person is under serious or imminent threat because domestic violence has been, is being or is about to be, committed
what is physical harm
What is physical harm?

Physical harm can be temporary or permanent.

  • It includes:
    • unconsciousness,
    • pain,
    • disfigurement,
    • infection with a disease, and
    • any physical contact that a person might object whether or not they are aware of it at the time
what is serious physical harm
What is serious physical harm?
  • Serious physical harm means any physical harm
    • That endangers or is likely to endanger a person’s life;

or

    • The effects are likely to be significant and longstanding
put simply
Put Simply
  • If you believe someone in a domestic relationship has been or is about to be seriously physically hurt,

AND/OR

  • their life and/or safety is under serious or imminent threat because of domestic violence

you must report this to Police

where do i report
Where do I report?
  • Police
    • 000 in case of an emergency
    • 131 444 if you are concerned but it is not urgent
reasonable excuses
Reasonable excuses
  • You do not have to make a report to Police:
    • If you believe someone else has already made a report to Police
  • You must still make a report to Police but can delay it:
    • If you are involved in the removal of the person from the situation
    • If you believe that a report to Police may result in a serious or imminent threat to any persons safety
penalties for not reporting
Penalties for not reporting
  • It is an offence if you hold a reasonable belief and do not report this to Police
  • You could be fined and/or prosecuted
  • The maximum fine is $22,000
what are your protections
What are your protections?
  • When making a report to the Police, if you are acting in good faith,
    • you are not civilly or criminally liable;

or

    • in breach of any professional code of conduct.
community consultation and resources
Community consultationand resources
  • Since March 2009, our team has met with over 2000 staff from government and non government services in over 250 information sessions across the NT
  • Systems and processes:
    • how to make a decision when to report
    • how to record decisions
    • organisational policy – does this outline reporting responsibilities and processes for supporting staff meet their obligations
    • Remote staff – how can we report safely?

Resources: fact sheet, referral flowchart, FAQs, toolkit for service providers and case studies www.stopfamilyviolence.nt.gov.au

implications for human resources
Implications for Human Resources
  • Staff who are employed in your agency will need to be aware of their obligations under the mandatory reporting legislation
  • Do any work practices need updating in relation to responding to staff employed within your agency or who you might deliver services to?
issues to consider
Issues to Consider
  • Does your agency have a Domestic and Family Violence Policy?
  • Does your agency explain to clients the limits of confidentiality and what mandatory reporting obligations staff have?
  • Do Human Resources explain to staff the limits of confidentiality and what mandatory reporting obligations they have?
issues to consider1
Issues to Consider
  • Is the mandatory reporting legislation included in staff orientation?
  • Has your agency integrated domestic and family violence and mandatory reporting in any other relevant agency training programs? i.e. management training
  • Does your agency internet and intranet provide a link to the www.stopfamilyviolence.nt.gov.au for both the public and staff to access?
strategies of dhf
Strategies of DHF
  • Developed a DHF Domestic and Family Violence Policy – soon to be finalised
  • Incorporated mandatory reporting obligations into DHF staff orientation across the NT
  • Integrating mandatory reporting obligations into broader DHF training programs such as management and leadership training programs
  • Developed a range of information resources and fact sheets including the Tool kit to support staff in responding to domestic and family violence and complying with the mandatory reporting legislation
resources
Resources

Website: www.stopfamilyviolence.nt.gov.au

Generic Email: stopfamilyviolence.ths@nt.gov.au

contacts
Contacts

DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE POLICY TEAM

Manager

Natalie Bellew

Senior Policy Officers

Sally Barker Sally.Barker@nt.gov.au PH 8924 4163

Judith Mills judith.mills@nt.gov.au PH 8924 4164

Mairead Kelly Mairead.kelly@nt.gov.au PH 8924 4161