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Shine Safe At Home
“I felt like I was aware of options, rather than feeling trapped. She helped me to see it’s my right to be safe and I didn’t deserve this.” – Shine safe@home client
Our Shine safe@home Advocates work with victims to help them and their children become safe and stay safe. Most of these clients want to stay in their own home, and we focus on helping them to do just that. However, we also work to keep victims safe wherever they are and wherever they go, whether they go into refuge, relocate or stay in their own home.
Since 1995, Auckland police and Auckland hospitals have referred victims of domestic abuse to our safe@home service. Most of these victims are women, but some are men - all victims referred receive the same service. The majority of these clients have dependent children.
Our Advocates prioritise working with victims who are in the greatest danger of being seriously injured or killed. Advocates work closely with colleagues in the Police, Child Youth and Family, Courts (especially the Victim Advisers), family lawyers, and other social service agencies to try to ensure that all agencies and professionals involved with the victim understand her/his situation and are supporting her/him to be safe and also support the victims children to be safe.
In Auckland, the Police and Auckland Hospitals make urgent referrals to Shine via a confidential phone line which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Advocates respond as quickly as possible, meeting with clients in their own homes, at the hospital, local Police stations, or another safe venue.
Advocates complete a comprehensive risk assessment and help the victim to create a safety plan that also includes dependent children. The safety plan may include getting in touch with a lawyer to apply for a Protection Order, assisting the client into a refuge, or whatever will work best in that person’s circumstances to keep him/her safe. The risk assessment helps the client understand her/his situation more clearly, and also helps Advocates to prioritise working with clients at highest risk of being killed.
Inter-agency collaboration is central to our ability to help victims become safe. Advocates are based at two Police Stations with Auckland Central and North Shore Police Family Violence Teams, at several CYF site offices, where they work alongside their colleagues in these agencies on domestic abuse cases, and at Auckland Hospital.
After hours, Shine’s safe@home Advocates are a team of volunteers who do urgent callouts in response to Police and hospital referrals. These volunteers receive extensive classroom and field training, as well as ongoing clinical and peer supervision.
Find out more about volunteering as a Shine After Hours Callout Advocate.
Safe@home Advocates provide extended and intensive support for clients identified as at high risk of serious harm. For some of the most high-risk clients, Shine safe@home provides home security upgrading so victims can remain safely in their own home. Our Advocates routinely attend meetings with other agencies to share information about and collaborate on high risk cases, with the shared goal of victim safety and offender accountability. Representatives at these meetings include the Police, Child, Youth & Family (CYF), Community Probation, and Shine. This is a model which has been used in the United Kingdom and has been recommended frequently in child death reviews in New Zealand as a way of reducing serious risk of further harm to adults and children.
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