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
Support the agency of victim-survivors
Family Safety Victoria promotes supporting a victim-survivor to have an active role in how they engage with the processes and systems that affect them. For organisations this means helping to guide customers affected by family violence through what options are available to them so they’re not taking it on alone.
Through this approach, victim-survivors can reclaim a sense of control and confidence that may have been lost from their experience of family violence.49 They can make informed choices that suit their circumstances as they move on with their lives.
Yarra Valley Water promotes agency for customers as a way to improve outcomes for the customer and the business.
“If a customer feels we are working towards a solution with them, they are more engaged in our programs and more likely to meet their payment commitments.” – Yarra Valley Water
Case study – Yarra Valley Water
A customer mentioned they had only become aware of the debt on the account since they separated from their partner. The consultant suspected this was a sign of family violence and transferred the customer to the hardship support program, WaterCare, whose team members had received further in-depth training on the complex issues surrounding victim-survivors and perpetrators.
Once transferred, the customer described how her partner had been removed from the property as a result of a Family Violence Intervention Order. She thought he was still paying the bills and had just received a notice for restriction due to non-payment.
The WaterCare consultant firstly asked the customer if she was safe and if she was getting support. The consultant then arranged to case manage the account, and shield it from collection activity. Yarra Valley Water negotiated an affordable payment arrangement with the customer and accessed a utility relief grant to assist in reducing the debt.
Gas and electricity retailers must always have regard to the customer entitlement in the Energy Retail Code of safe supportive and flexible assistance in order to manage personal and financial security.
See 106E of the Energy Retail Code.