Safe at Home is an integrated whole-of-government criminal justice response and intervention system to family violence that aims to:
- Improve the safety and security for adult and child victims of family violence in the short and long term;
- Ensure that offenders are held accountable for family violence as a public crime and change their offending behaviour;
- Reduce the incidence and severity of family violence in the longer term; and
- Minimise the negative impacts of contact with the criminal justice system on adult and child victims.
The initiative is intended to achieve a reduction in the level of family violence in the medium to long term and, in the shorter term, improve safety for adult and child victims as well as changing the offending behaviour of those responsible for the violence.
The Safe at Home program is overarched by the Family Violence Act 2004 (the Act). The paramount considerations in the administration of the Act are the safety, psychological wellbeing and interests of people affected by family violence.
Safe at Home is founded on the principle of ‘primacy of safety of the victim’ and police provide a pro-intervention response.
Under this program, police have expanded responsibility and legislative powers for the provision of victim safety and management of risk and safety issues for people affected by family violence.
What is Family Violence
Family violence means any of the following types of conduct committed by a person, directly or indirectly, against that person’s spouse or partner (this also includes ex-spouse or ex-partner):
- Assault, including sexual assault
- Threats, coercion, intimidation or verbal abuse
- Attempting or threatening any of the above
- Economic abuse
- Emotional abuse or intimidation
- Breaching an existing order, and
- Any damage caused by person to any property owned by a spouse or partner or affected child
Police Response to Family Violence
The Act provides police with the authority to intervene in family violence incidents. Tasmania Police applies a pro-intervention policy in relation to family violence. In appropriate cases, police may also issue a Police Family Violence Order or make application to a Court for a Family Violence Order. Orders are made to increase the safety of victims.
A major focus of the Safe at Home initiative is to support adult and child victims to enable them to remain in or quickly return to their own home in safety wherever possible.
Victim Safety Response Teams (VSRTs)
Police officers throughout the State have received specialist family violence training to provide an enhanced service to victims of family violence.
In addition, each of the four police geographical districts has a dedicated Victim Safety Response Team. Members of these teams are able to provide a range of services to support victims in crisis situations and improve their safety.
Family Violence Response and Referral Line – 1800 633 937
Family violence incidents can be reported to the Family Violence Response and Referral Line by calling 1800 633 937, or by calling Triple Zero (000) in emergency situations. Calls requiring an immediate response to a family violence incident will have a police intervention team dispatched. Those not requiring an immediate ‘safety’ response are referred to appropriate counselling, information and support services.
Further information is available on the Safe at Home website.
Safe Homes, Safe Families
Living free from violence is everyone’s right. Taking action to prevent it is everyone’s responsibility.
Safe Home, Safe Families is the Tasmanian Government’s new, coordinated, whole-of-government action plan to respond to family violence.
Further information is available at www.dpac.tas.gov.au/safehomessafefamilies