Victims Assistance Support

Service purpose

Victims Assistance Program (VAP) is a voluntary program that provides confidential information, advice and supports for the needs that arise as a direct consequence of a violent crime including family violence, sexual assault, physical assault and homicide. VAP staff aim to assist victims to effectively manage and recover from the direct consequence of these crimes and tailor services to individual’s needs.

  • Guidance through the Justice system, communicating with police and arranging court supports
  • Information on safety, emergency security and identifying other services that may be of help
  • Making a Victim Impact Statement for court, or submission to the Adult Parole Board
  • Emotional support and guidance in organising the most suitable therapeutic intervention
  • Linking in with a Solicitor to assess your eligibility of the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) for further ongoing long term recovery supports

Who's it for

Anyone who has experienced or witnessed a violent crime, or who has had a relative die as a result of violent crime perpetrated in Victoria.

Victims of crime may experience a range of consequences including:

  • Physical symptoms - these may include physical injuries received during the crime or physical effects in response to the crime, such as insomnia, fatigue, headaches, etc. Physical symptoms can sometimes persist for some time after the crime has occurred
  • Practical aspects - consumers may experience safety or security issues, medical or transport assistance because of the crime. They may also need to engage with the criminal justice system early, in particular police or Courts
  • Psychological impacts - effects can vary depending on such things as the characteristic of the crime, social and other early supports, belief systems and the personal resilience of the client. Psychological effects may be experienced by the consumer short-term or may develop into long-term crime-related post trauma illness.

Windermere also employs Koori Engagement Workers who are available to provide confidential and culturally sensitive support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victims of crime in the community.

Cost

The VAP services are funded by the Department of Justice & Community Safety (DOJCS) and are of No charge to our consumers.

Criteria

People eligible to access the VAP include primary, secondary and/or related victims of crimes against the person perpetrated in Victoria.

A primary victim is a person who is injured as a direct result of a violent crime or has been injured attempting to prevent, aid or rescue someone from a violent crime.

A secondary victim is a person who is injured as a direct result of being present at the scene of a violent crime and witnessing that crime or the parent/guardian of the primary victim who was under the age of 18 at the time the criminal act was committed.

Related victims are close family member, a dependant or someone with an intimate personal relationship of a deceased primary victim.

The service is available to residents located across Southern Metropolitan Melbourne and Gippsland in the following Local Government Areas.

Southern Metropolitan Melbourne:

Stonnington / City of Port Phillip / Bayside / Cardinia / Casey / Frankston / Glen Eira / Greater Dandenong / Kingston / Mornington.

Gippsland:

Bass Coast / Baw Baw / East Gippsland / La Trobe / South Gippsland / Wellington.

If you are unsure if you are eligible for this service, call the Victims of Crime Helpline on 1800 819 817. The helpline is open 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week.

Or contact Windermere directly on 1300 946 337 or email SouthernVAP@windermere.org.au . Windermere is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Further Resources:

https://www.victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au/

https://www.vocat.vic.gov.au/

https://courtnetwork.com.au/

https://victimsandwitnesses.opp.vic.gov.au/witnesses/witness-assistance-service

https://www.ibac.vic.gov.au/

Family Violence Information Sharing

Laws governing the management of information about people involved in family violence, and the safety and wellbeing of children are changing. Part 5A of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) and Part 6A of the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005(Vic ) with their supporting regulations, permit a number of organisations to share current and previously collected information relating to family violence risk and the wellbeing or safety of children – to keep people safe and perpetrators of violence in view. From 27 September 2018, Windermere will have a role under both schemes, along with a number of other agencies and their funded or contracted organisations.

More information about the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme, is available on the Family Safety Victoria website

www.vic.gov.au/familyviolence/family-safety-victoria/information-sharing-and-risk-management.html

More information about the Child Information Sharing Scheme is available at

www.vic.gov.au/childinfosharing

 

To access this program or find out more, speak with our Victims Assistance team located in your local office.

To enquire, phone our our team today on 1300 946 337.


This program is funded by the Victorian State Government through the Department of Justice & Regulation.

Testimonial

My (Windermere) counsellor has been one of the most important supports I have had throughout this whole process. She is amazing. I now see things from a completely different perspective.

I am on the lookout now too - next time I am in a relationship, I will be able to recognise the signs of domestic violence and I won’t let myself get stuck in that sort of position again.”

Witness, Royal Commission into Family Violence - Melbourne 

Compliments & Complaints

We like receiving feedback about our services because it helps us improve what we do.

Whether you would like to pay us a compliment or make a complaint we encourage you to tell us what's on your mind.