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Safer Pathway

Responsible government

  • New South Wales

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 17 Collaborate across services, sectors and workforces to ensure responses to women affected by domestic, family and sexual violence are coordinated, meet women’s needs, avoid women having to retell their story and promote their recovery.
    • 19 Build the evidence base to inform responses to domestic, family and sexual violence by strengthening the focus on what works to reduce violence, improving data and supporting the Fourth Action Plan priorities.

What are we doing?

Safer Pathway aims to ensure that all victim–survivors of domestic and family violence in NSW receive a timely, effective and consistent response to secure their safety based on the level of threat to their safety and their needs.

Safer Pathway comprises:

  • The Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool (DVSAT) to identify the level of threat to domestic and family violence victim–survivors.
  • The Central Referral Point (CRP) to electronically manage and monitor referrals from NSW Police Force to a state-wide network of 48 local coordination points (for female victim–survivors) or local support services (for male victim–survivors) that provide case coordination and support.
  • Safety action meetings for victim–survivors classified as at serious threat of death, disability or injury as a result of domestic and family violence. Government agencies and service providers develop coordinated safety action plans that involve, for example, temporary accommodation, apprehended domestic violence orders, mental health services, case management and other support.
  • Information sharing legislation allows service providers to share information, so that victim–survivors do not have to retell their story multiple times and to promote an integrated response.

What have we achieved so far?

In 2016–17, NSW Government committed $53 million over four years for the state-wide roll out Safer Pathway. Safer Pathway commenced at two sites in 2014 and has since been rolled out state-wide to 48 sites.

Safer Pathway was independently evaluated in 2018 and found to be meeting its intended objectives of ensuring a consistent, effective and timely response to victim–survivors of domestic and family violence. The evaluation report highlights that, “Safer Pathway has been implemented largely as intended and is generally meeting its intended objectives of ensuring a consistent, effective and timely response to victims across NSW.”

In 2018–19, more than 6000 women assessed as being “at serious threat” were referred through the Central Referral Point to have coordinated safety action plans developed for them and their children. Approximately 10 per cent identified as Aboriginal women.

A total of 39,765 DFV referrals for male victims were received through the CRP between 1 July 2018 until 30 June 2019, accounting for 29% of total referrals for this period.

Training was provided to approximately 1500 members of safety action meetings on best practices for local coordination and collaboration, protecting client privacy and developing safety action plans.

What is next?

Safer Pathway is a continuing initiative of the NSW Government. The NSW Government will implement recommendations made by the evaluation throughout 2020 and 2021.

What difference will we make?

Safer Pathway aims to improve the safety of victims of domestic and family violence who are at serious threat of injury or death by ensuring that victim–survivors can access appropriate, timely and compassionate support to address their needs and achieve safety, recovery and empowerment.

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