By Molly Dragiewicz, Jeffrey Ackerman and Casey Cale
This report presents findings from the evaluation of a pilot program placing advocates from the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast (DVPC), a domestic violence specialist support service, at the Southport and Coomera police stations two days a week from October 2020 to July 2021. The impetus for the pilot was anecdotal information from Queensland Police Service (QPS) and DVPC indicating that some domestic and family violence (DFV) victims/survivors had negative experiences when reporting domestic violence matters to police.
Accordingly, DVPC and QPS sought to collaborate to improve responses to domestic and family violence by placing a domestic violence victim advocate at Southport and Coomera police stations to assist in supporting people approaching the stations for assistance with domestic violence matters. The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and Commonwealth COVID-19 Response Fund and DVPC funded the pilot project.
The evaluation used surveys with closed- and open-ended questions to capture the perceptions of victims attending the stations for domestic and family violence- related matters, QPS staff at those stations, and the DVPC victim advocates who staffed the pilot program at the police stations.
- Strong support for co-location of victim advocates at police stations
- Improved victim experiences
- Enhanced collaboration between DVPC and QPS
- Shared learning between DVPC and QPS
- Reduced workload for QPS