Better practice in responding to family violence
- Principle One: Develop an informed approach that works for the organisation
- Principle Two: Lead from the top and demonstrate accountability
- Principle Three: Prioritise safety and choice for victim-survivors
- Principle Four: Build a culture of awareness, internally and externally
- Principle Five: Acknowledge and address barriers to access
Better practice in responding to family violencePublished 06 August 2019
Show empathy to victim-survivors
Family violence experts are unanimous that policies must be designed to reflect the nature and causes of family violence, and the experiences of victim-survivors. In our workshops, attendees gained an understanding of the size of the issue in the community, how it affects different demographics and what the common myths are about what family violence looks like.
In its report, 'Voices of Hope', Family Safety Victoria emphasises the importance of showing empathy to victim-survivors. When victim-survivors feel heard without judgment they’re more likely to be confident in the support offered by that organisation.
North East Water promotes empathy when working with customers, noting this provides for a safer and more flexible response at the time of the call. Yarra Valley Water encourages empathy so customers feel understood and their position validated.
“Empathy contributes to our customers regaining some power and control over their circumstances and their finances in the form of payment plans that are manageable within their specific circumstances.” – Yarra Valley Water
Case study – North East Water
North East Water was contacted by a customer who had left the family home as a result of family violence. His partner had traced his new address and accessed some of his online government services. The customer rang North East Water and discussed options to ensure his partner was not able to access his water account.
North East Water advised him that they could help him to manage his account by flagging for his calls to be transferred to the Customer Support Team. It also offered a password and secret question for accessing his account; which he accepted. The customer was appreciative of ease of the with which he could secure the account.