Domestic Violence Advocacy Service
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is when a worker actively works with you to help you access your rights and entitlements more easily. The Advocate will engage with others on your behalf to try to get them to understand the seriousness of your situation and ask them for the response you want.
What does the Advocacy Service do?
The Advocacy Service’s primary purpose is to provide information, support, and referral and offers a secure, caring setting where you are safe to tell your story. This may be the first time you have been able to speak openly in a non-judgemental atmosphere. You have the freedom to explore options and you will be provided with information on the services available to you so you can make informed decisions about your future.
- No-one has the right to abuse you.
- You have the right to live in safety and free from fear.
- You are not to blame for some-one else’s abusive and violent behaviour.
The Advocate offers court support to women, men and children who are seeking access to safety or other rights through the courts, so that you are not as vulnerable to intimidation and can discuss and clarify what is happening. People who experience domestic violence can sometimes find it difficult to be believed and taken seriously by people or agencies that are in a position to help them. This can make it harder and sometimes prevent them from accessing their rights, including protection from violence, housing and financial support. If you experience this, the advocate can advocate for you.
What is a Violence Restraining Order?
A Violence Restraining Order (VRO) sometimes called an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is a court binding document and is put in place for you and your children’s safety and protection. The Advocate can explain the process of obtaining a VRO and assist with the process of applying for one at court.
Can someone come to court with me?
Yes. As anyone who has ever been to court knows, it can be a stressful and bewildering experience and if you have to be there because of abuse and violence in your relationship, it can be very frightening. Court procedures and legal language can be hard to understand and often the abuser will try to intimidate you while you wait for the hearing. The advocate will assist you through the whole process of court to make the experience less stressful for you.
Who can access the service?
Anyone that is affected by family and domestic violence can receive our services. Our service is open to Women, Men and children who are experiencing family and domestic violence. Our service is a place to feel safe and where their confidentiality is respected.
You can get information about family and domestic violence without having to see a counsellor, you can phone or email Chrysalis with your request, if you come into Chrysalis, you can also borrow books on family and domestic violence.
The Advocacy Service operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm in Geraldton. Unfortunately child care cannot be provided on site; therefore we would encourage clients to make alternative arrangements for their children when attending appointments.