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White Ribbon accreditation

The Attorney-General's Department (AGD), together with 10 other South Australian government agencies, became a White Ribbon accredited workplace in June 2016. 


White ribbon logo

As a department we:

  • selected male leaders to drive initiatives that supported gender equality
  • allocated resources to improving safety and identifying risks in the workplace
  • developed communication strategies to promote the White Ribbon program and encourage staff participation
  • trained employees in violence prevention and responding to disclosures
  • reviewed workplace policies and procedures that support victims of domestic violence.

White Ribbon accreditation is not the end of the journey.

We are now working on an operational plan to ensure that we continue to promote a culture of zero tolerance towards violence against women, and provide a safe and respectful place in which women can excel as professional public sector employees.


Background

In 2014, the Premier announced a whole-of-government response to the findings of the State Coroner’s investigation into a tragic domestic violence case that resulted in the murder of a South Australian woman.

The public sector embarked on a collaborative partnership with White Ribbon Australia to prevent and respond to violence against women in the workplace.


What is violence against women?

In Australia, 1 in 6 women has experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a current or former partner. Violence against women results in:

  • 1 woman being killed on average each week by a partner or former partner
  • intimate partner violence being the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in women aged 15-44
  • an estimated cost of $14.4 billion to the Australian economy each year.

Although violence against women is often thought of in terms of physical assault and sexual abuse, it includes other forms of physical and psychological abuse, such as:

  • verbal abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • social abuse
  • spiritual abuse
  • economic abuse.

Support and assistance

If you are ever the victim of domestic or family violence and you require urgent assistance, you can contact the Domestic Violence Gateway on 1800 800 098, or 1300 782 200.

For more information about what services and support exist, visit www.1800respect.org.au or download the app, Daisy, which connects women around Australia to services that can assist them in dealing with a domestic or family violence situation.


AGD initiatives

AGD is active in its commitment to stop violence against women. The department takes every opportunity through our programs and initiatives, to stand against violence against women in its many forms. 

Currently AGD has an internal communications program designed to raise awareness of White Ribbon and the issue of violence against women in society and the workplace. Men across AGD and its agencies are growing in their understanding of the problem of violence against women and are actively committed to its end.

View the AGDs PDF iconStatement of Commitment to White Ribbon (PDF 1.31 MB)

Part of AGD’s corporate mission is to help make South Australia safer. There are many 'business-as-usual' initiatives designed to make both our workplace and community a safer place for women. 

Crown Solicitor's Office
  • Development of new standard clauses re: violence against women and gender equality for use in SA government contracts. 
  • Provision of legal advice to CBS in relation to the Residential Tenancy Domestic Violence reforms.  
  • Provision of advice on the establishment of the Domestic Violence Court service.

The Crown Solicitor's Office (CSO) assesses and pays victims of crime claims involving women who have been subjected to domestic violence. This includes making interim payments to women in certain circumstances, particularly to assist with rehousing costs and outstanding utility accounts within the provisions of the Victims of Crime Act. It also includes providing advice to the Attorney-General in relation to requests for ex gratia payments by women who have been subjected to domestic abuse, but no offence has been proven before a court, and where a woman seeks approval to dispense with service of her compensation application on the offender for fear of reprisals.

The CSO Victims of Crime Unit also liaises regularly and constructively with Yarrow Place to ensure that it has a good appreciation of the effects of violent sexual offending against women.

Birth's deaths and marriages – CBS
When registering changes of names for births, deaths and marriages purposes, the number of times a person may change their name during their lifetime is usually limited to 3. However, CBS will consider applications outside the usual policy for people trying to escape from a domestic violence situation.
SafeWork SA
SafeWork SA industry engagement advisers and the workplace support team (inspectors) are continually considering how to strategically align industry engagement with awareness about the impact of domestic and family violence on the workplace.
Strategic Communications Group - AGD 
The Strategic Communications Group designed a communications plan and researched and created marketing collateral including web pages, posters and fact sheets with emotive imagery to engage staff and to actively raise awareness of the AGD White Ribbon Workplace accreditation process.
Office of the Commissioner for Victims Rights
  • Advocacy and assistance for women who have become victims of violence.
  • Ongoing Facebook campaign providing commentary on domestic violence and violence against women.
  • Presentations to the community and agencies.
Public Advocate
The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) is the chair of the ‘Northern Elder Abuse Prevention Task Force’, and work in collaboration with the Northern Domestic Violence Unit, Aged Rights Advocacy Service and others. We are also on the steering committee for the development of ‘Strategy to safeguard the rights of older South Australians’, which includes safeguarding older people from abuse. 

OPA collaborated with UniSA on a report called Closing the Gaps. It’s a joined-up response across all relevant agencies in order to prevent and address issues of abuse and harm to vulnerable older people. 

OPA also identifies clients at high risk of domestic violence and the forms of violence via a risk assessment tool. We put strategies in place to assist with their safety. We are also a Guardian of Last Resort for people with a mental incapacity which allows us to make decisions on how to protect our clients from abuse or further abuse.

Human Resources Unit 
AGD's leave policy - Special leave with pay is applicable in situations of domestic/relationship violence.
Projects and Technology 
As part of the Criminal Justice Information Management program we are currently in the process of testing functionality to allow intervention orders information to be shared electronically from SAPOL to courts. This functionality will allow intervention orders information to be exchanged in real-time as opposed to relying on the exchange of information in hardcopy via manual and timely processes. This enhancement will give agencies immediate access to correct and accurate information in real-time to assist in preventing and responding to violence to women in the South Australian community.
Office of Crime Statistics and Research (OCSAR)

Ongoing monitoring of statistical trends relating to violence against women. A range of reports produced by OCSAR provide summary information based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. For example:

Ombudsman SA
Ombudsman SA has responsibility for the Information Sharing Guidelines (ISG) which promote early and effective service coordination in response to risks to the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable women and children.
Equal Opportunity Commission

In the work of the EOC regarding violence against women we have 3 core areas where this is the focus:

  • The EOC facilitates the Chiefs for Gender Equity, a group consisting of male business leaders from sectors where women are under-represented
  • The EOC is the SA Public sector lead on the White Ribbon workplace accreditation project - a project that supports senior male leaders to adapt organisational culture, practices and procedures to promote safe workplaces for women and respectful relationships between employees
  • The EOC works to influence policy, political and social processes that disadvantage women and ensure fairness.
Forensic Science SA (FSSA)
FSSA deals with sexual assault cases as high priority. Victims who have quick forensic results have the confidence in the system to support police investigations and improve the chances of a conviction.