Members of the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum toured the new Specialist Family Violence Court in Shepparton this month, to find out more about how the new court is helping to support Aboriginal people experiencing family violence and hold people who use violence to account.
The tour of the court took place during the Dhelk Dja Partnership Forum meeting which was this month hosted by the Hume Dhelk Dja Regional Action Group, whose region covers Shepparton.
The court, which opened in October, is the first of five Specialist Family Violence Courts that will be opened across Victoria, with courts at Ballarat, Moorabbin, Frankston and Heidelberg set to be operational within the next 12 months.
The courts were a key recommendation of the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence to ensure people who have lived through family violence feel safe and supported as they go through the court system and hold people who use violence to account.
The purpose-built building, which includes separate court entrances and a safe waiting space with amenities for applicants and their children, will provide a culturally appropriate response for Aboriginal Victorians experiencing family violence.
The court’s operating model will be supported by enhanced family violence services for families, and the introduction of a court-mandated counselling program to help improve the reach and impact of men’s behaviour change programs.
Reviewed 20 November 2019