2022 Addressing Violence against Women and their Children Award Winner

City of Belmont, WA

Belmont Safe-guarding Families Advocacy Service

Belmont Safe-Guarding Families Advocacy Service.

The Project

The Belmont Safe-Guarding Families Advocacy Service (BSGF) assists City of Belmont residents experiencing Family and Domestic Violence. The partnership between the City of Belmont, Belmont Police and Ruah Community Services sees an Advocate, dedicated to supporting victims hosted at the Belmont Police Station. The service provides information, informal counselling and support to individuals and their families. There are multiple ways to refer into the program, including self-referral, referral by police, or referral by external parties (services).

The BSGF service promotes immediate safety and harm minimisation for people experiencing violence in the City of Belmont, of which a large majority of victims are women. People experiencing violence in the City of Belmont are provided information about Family and Domestic Violence and supported to connect into specialist Family and Domestic Violence services. Through conversations and emotional support, the BSGF community worker raises awareness of Family and Domestic Violence, including power and control, coercive control, and the cycle of violence, as well as educating victims about legal rights and child protection frameworks.

People engaging with support increase their understanding of Family and Domestic Violence legal frameworks and can make informed choices about their engagement with legal protections. The service endeavors to support women and children experiencing Family and Domestic Violence, and help to keep them safe from further harm so that their quality of life and wellbeing can improve.

Since 2017, when the City's partnership with Ruah and the Belmont Police began, the three parties have been dedicated to positively impacting the overall well-being of the people in the Belmont community. Both Ruah and Belmont Police are trusted partners with whom the City of Belmont will continue to collaborate, to support residents experiencing Family and Domestic Violence.

The award category

This award recognises local government projects which:

  • address underlying cause of as gender inequality and power imbalances to eliminate violence against women and their children
  • support and advocate for women and children experiencing family and domestic violence and sexual harassment
  • raise awareness and create cultures and communities of respect, inclusion and gender equality.

Successful projects in this award category benefit communities by:

  • preventing violence towards women by driving sustainable change in community awareness, attitudes and behaviours
  • supporting women and children who are at risk of, or experiencing, family and domestic violence, sexual violence or sexual harassment
  • changing the attitudes and social norms that excuse or condone disrespect, sexual harassment and abuse.

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