The Family Violence Outreach Program offers an opportunity for a woman to talk to someone about her situation. WRISC will listen without judgement or discrimination. We believe that everyone has the right to be safe, to be treated equally and to have access to the same opportunities as everyone else. Part of the support that WRISC offers is to provide women with information about family violence and common patterns of behaviour in abusive relationships. We work with women to help improve their safety and the feeling of control over their life.
Our Support Workers will use their knowledge and the resources available to them to support a woman and her children to achieve their goals. These goals may include things like:
- Having a safety plan
- Having support at court
- Making your home safe (e.g. changing locks)
- Finding a new home
- Help to get out of debt or manage the bills
- Help with safe arrangements for the children to see their other parent or other family members
- Learning more about family violence
- Seeing a lawyer for advice
- Seeing a counsellor or joining a support group
- Organising counselling for your children (if you have children)
- Advocacy by a Support Worker
- Safe Accommodation
Our service is free and voluntary. That means that there is no cost and a woman may cease services at any time.
Information and referral
WRISC provides women and children with information about the nature and impact of family violence and the support and resources available to them to be safe and free from violence.
WRISC supports the safety of women and children through evidence based risk assessment, planning for safety and implementing strategies to manage risk. WRISC works closely with The Orange Door, the Police, the Courts, and other services to support the safety of a woman and her children.
WRISC can provide crisis support and help women put a plan of action in place that supports her and her children’s physical and psychological safety.
Participating in legal proceedings is a stressful process. WRISC provides information, support, referral and advocacy for women accessing the Magistrates Court and Family Court.
Preventing and Responding to Homelessness
Family violence is a leading contributor to homelessness. Many women and children are often forced to leave their homes, or experience insecure housing as a result of family violence. WRISC provides support to maintain or establish private rental, referrals to local housing support services, assistance with housing applications in private, transitional and public housing, assistance with emergency accommodation and crisis housing, and help with the costs of moving and establishing a new home.
Women and children often face many barriers to accessing help. Accessing the right help at the right time minimises a woman’s distress and promotes her and her children’s safety and recovery. WRISC provides strong advocacy with, and on behalf of, women to ensure access to needed services.
Supporting women and children to stay safely at home
Helping women and children to stay safely in their home and local community aids in their recovery and wellbeing. It also reduces the long-term psychological, economic and social harm caused by violence. Practical assistance such as changing locks, installing security doors and lights along with other safety strategies (eg. applying for an intervention order) can make a difference to both real and perceived safety. It also enables women and children to remain in their home and maintain connections with friends, family, schools and other community support.
Counselling and support groups
Family violence is a leading contributor to psychological trauma for women and wreaks havoc on the psychological, emotional and social wellbeing of children. Each year WRISC provides trauma informed counselling, art and play based therapeutic services for children, and support groups and group art projects for women.
Where women and children are identified as facing the highest risk of ongoing family violence and present with complex and multiple needs, WRISC provides intensive services over a longer period of time.
Culturally safe and sensitive services
Demonstrating respect by listening and learning, building relationships of trust and being aware of cultural differences are integral to providing culturally safe services. In addition to the services described above, WRISC staff attend and participate in Indigenous community development activities such as family retreat camps, mum and bubs group and attend Indigenous networks such as the Grampians Indigenous Family Violence Regional Action group. We also provide our services one day a week at the Ballarat & District Aboriginal Cooperative. For more information on our Aboriginal Family Violence Program, click here.