Family and Relationship Counselling and Advocacy Service
Definition of family and domestic violence
“Behaviour which results in physical, sexual and/or psychological damage, forced isolation, economic deprivation or behaviour which causes the victim to live in fear”.
What does Family and Relationship Counselling Service provided.
The Family and Relationship Counselling Service is free, confidential and provides professional counselling, support and education in a safe and supportive environment to women, men and children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence.
The Relationship and Family Violence Counselling caters for women who are still living within an abusive relationship or have left a domestic violence relationship. Counselling can be helpful for women who have been abused recently or in the past, as well as for women who are trying to live as safely as they can in an abusive relationship.
There are many different forms the abuse can take, including physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, emotional, threatening, intimidating or involve deprivation. Counselling is an important tool for the victim to help overcome the trauma, recover and rebuild their life. It provides a safe environment where the victim can work through their issues, helping to get their life back on track and be able to move on.
You can phone for information about what services may be able to assist you, to find out more about domestic violence or to talk about accommodation if you need to find somewhere safe to stay.
Crisis and short term counselling is offered via the telephone and also face to face. To see a counsellor, simply phone to make an appointment on 0899380750 or come into the office.
Relationship and Family Violence Counsellors can see perpetrators of domestic violence.
Can I get information about domestic violence without seeing a counsellor?
You can contact or come into Chrysalis and speak with the Advocacy Service, which can provide information about domestic violence. Chrysalis also has a wide range of resources and books. Books can be borrowed with a $10 deposit, which will be returned to you once the item is returned.
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, 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-judgmental 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 a 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 Relationship and Family Violence Counselling and Advocacy Service operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm in Geraldton. Unfortunately child care cannot be provided on site, we would therefore encourage clients to make alternative arrangements for their children when attending counselling.
Cycle of Abuse
The cycle usually goes in the following order, and will repeat until the conflict is stopped, usually by the survivor entirely abandoning the relationship.
The cycle can occur hundreds of times in an abusive relationship, the total cycle taking anywhere from a few hours, to a year or more to complete. However, the length of the cycle usually diminishes over time so that the “making-up” and “calm” stages may disappear.
1: Tension building phase
This phase occurs prior to an overtly abusive act, and is characterized by poor communication, passive aggression, rising interpersonal tension, and fear of causing outbursts in one’s partner. During this stage the survivors may attempt to modify his or her behavior to avoid triggering their partner’s outburst.
Characterized by outbursts of violent, abusive incidents. During this stage the abuser attempts to dominate his/her partner (survivor), with the use of domestic violence.
Characterized by affection, apology, or, alternatively, ignoring the incident. This phase marks an apparent end of violence, with assurances that it will never happen again, or that the abuser will do his or her best to change. During this stage the abuser feels overwhelming feelings of remorse and sadness, or at least pretends to.
Some abusers walk away from the situation with little comment, but most will eventually shower the survivor with love and affection. The abuser may use self-harm or threats of suicide to gain sympathy and/or prevent the survivor from leaving the relationship. Abusers are frequently so convincing, and survivors so eager for the relationship to improve, those survivors who are often worn down and confused by longstanding abuse, stays in the relationship.
4: Calm phase
During this phase (which is often considered an element of the honeymoon/reconciliation phase), the relationship is relatively calm and peaceable. However, interpersonal difficulties will inevitably arise, leading again to the tension building phase.
Important contact numbers
Geraldton Police 9923 4555
Police 000 (in an emergency) or
131 444 (for enquiries/advice)
Helplines – provide information, referral and telephone counselling
Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline 9223 1188 / 1800 007 339
Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline 9223 1199 / 1800 000 599
Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
Crisis Care (24 hrs) 9223 1111 (metro)
1800 199 008 (country)
Support, information and referral for women from culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds
Multicultural Women’s Advocacy Centre 9328 1200 or 9227 8122