DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HIGH-RISK TEAM
In 2018, the Domestic Violence Resource Service (DVRS) received funding to establish a High-Risk Team in Mackay.
Ours is one of eight High-Risk Teams created in Queensland, following on from recommendations made in the Not Now, Not Ever report tabled by the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland in 2015.
The High-Risk Team is a multi-agency response to domestic and family violence in the region.
The team consists of officers from all agencies that play a role in keeping victims safe and holding perpetrators to account in Mackay, including the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Health, Queensland Corrective Services, the Department of Housing and domestic violence services such as DVRS.
They meet regularly to share information and work together so they can quickly and more effectively identify women and children who are experiencing domestic and family violence and are at a high-risk of serious harm or even death.
They can then identify and engage with perpetrators and intervene more quickly to help keep victims of domestic and family violence safer.
An independent evaluation into the Queensland Government trial of integrated responses to domestic violence has shown that the High-Risk Teams are delivering faster and more targeted responses.
The evaluation, by Griffith Criminology Institute, identified many benefits, strengths, and indicators of progress including:
- an overwhelming focus in both processes and responses on improving victim safety.
- faster and more targeted service responses for victims and perpetrators referred to high-risk teams.
- more ‘eyes’ on perpetrators.
- improved information sharing between agencies, especially about victims and perpetrators referred to high risk teams, leading to more informed decision making about actions to be taken by individual services.
- large government agencies placing a greater focus on identifying and responding to domestic and family violence.
- stronger relationships between participating service providers, especially government and non-government agencies.
- improved understandings about the differing roles of agencies when identifying and responding to domestic and family violence.
- enhanced agency accountability around the services and supports provided by agencies.