As a key agency that work with women who have experienced family violence, we offer support and advocacy across a variety of our services. The women who access these services are predominantly seeking safety in the form of a Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO). Our team members role is to provide person-centred care and work with women so they can make choices about their safety, health, wellbeing, housing, legal and children’s needs.
We usually assist women face to face with their FVRO’s. However since May 2020, the choices for women have changed and women are now able to apply for FVRO’s online with legal services submitting applications on their behalf.
The legal services in Geraldton that can assist are:-
- Aboriginal Family Law Service 9965 4654
- Legal Aid Geraldton 9921 0200
The Desert Blue Connect support worker or advocate will provide the information of both methods and the estimated time frames to the woman so she can make an informed choice that suits her needs.
Michelle, support worker at the Chrysalis House Women’s Refuge (CHWR) believes FVRO’s are important to keep women safe from harm. “Once the client has a restraining order in place, they feel safer or like they are being protected”, she stated.
DBC team members have noticed that a lot of women do not know that a FVRO is available or the process to obtain one.
Irene Muthui, CHWR Coordinator advises this is where Desert Blue Connect support workers and advocates can assist women and their children. “It’s empowering for the women because a lot of them are not even aware that there is a document like a restraining order that protects them”, she said. “We also educate them about reporting breaches so it is a good tool to have and a good process to have.”
“We support women with completing the paperwork, with court support, and further education so they can be safe”, Ms Muthui said. “Now with the online FVRO, this is another option and choice women have.”
For further information about the online restraining orders go to https://www.victimsofcrime.wa.gov.au/_files/online-VROs-FAQs.pdf
If you require assistance contact Desert Blue Connect main office on 9964 2742 or Chrysalis House Women’s Refuge on 9964 2173.
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