DVassist is a unique and innovative organisation that addresses the complex issue of abusive relationships in regional, rural and remote areas of Western Australia. Our journey began in 2017 when our founder, Esperance-based author Fleur McDonald, established an online information directory of family and domestic violence services called Breaking the Silence. During her frequent travels she had many conversations with people which demonstrated a need for a service that specifically provided people living in regional, rural and remote communities information about the options available to them when seeking advice and practical support.
Now, thanks to a Commonwealth Government grant we have been able to launch a telephone counselling service, an interactive website with live Web Chat and a comprehensive online information hub initially focusing on 16 regional areas of Western Australia covering the East and West Kimberly, Pilbara, Wheatbelt, Goldfields-Esperance, Great Southern, Geraldton and some parts of the South West.
We believe that every person in a relationship should feel safe, respected and free from any form of violence or oppression.
Our vision is that by 2022 we will have the profile, funding and capacity to offer assistance to any person living in an abusive relationship in regional Western Australia.
Our mission is to support any person impacted by an abusive relationship in rural, regional and remote Western Australia to make informed choices that enhance their life and personal safety, and through case management, to help those using violence or abuse to change their behaviour to eliminate their use of violence or abuse.
We intend to achieve our vision and mission through:
- Making it easy for people experiencing domestic violence to find local domestic and family violence support services in their town via a comprehensive online service directory.
- Providing people experiencing domestic violence with regionally focused and relevant information about domestic violence, and tools on our website to assist them to empower themselves to make informed choices that enhance their life and personal safety.
- Our telephone and Web Chat counselling services provide risk assessment, single and multi-session counselling, referral, and on-going case management and support for people experiencing domestic violence. Our counselling service operates 10am to 10pm weekdays and provides:
- caring and trained counsellors providing anonymous, confidential, and non-judgmental support
- a private and safe space for people experiencing domestic violence to talk about their experiences and concerns
- practical tools, strategies and information to help people experiencing domestic violence make informed choices
- support to help people experiencing domestic violence work through their options in the short and long term
- an understanding of the additional challenges people experiencing domestic violence face when living in regional areas
- readily accessible and relevant advice, information and referral to local and state or national domestic violence support services
- In April 2021, we have added online Web Chat counselling services.
The DVassist client is at the centre of everything we do. Our ten core values are:
- Respect for the dignity of those we serve
- Compassion for others
- The absence of judgement in all our actions
- Belief in empowerment
- Understanding of vulnerability
- Importance of collaboration
- Genuine empathy for others
- Commitment to achieving social change
- Ensuring accuracy of available data
- Consistent delivery of high quality advice and support
Who we help?
Our primary focus is supporting anyone in regional Western Australian who is facing or experiencing domestic violence, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity or ability.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide assistance to people outside Western Australia. If you are outside Western Australia, please contact your nearest state domestic violence support service.
The DVassist project is supported by funding from the Australian Government, through the Department of Health under the Community Health and Hospital Program.
DVassist is a Registered Charity (Public Benevolent Institution entity subtype) with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. It is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). All donations over $2 are tax deductable.