Bonnie Support Services

Bonnie Support Services

Marryanne’s Mission To Find Out What’s Missing

Marryanne’s Mission to Find Out What’s Missing


In light of the latest devastating murders of two women, we need to ask ourselves, what can we do so that women don’t fall through the gaps in services and care? What changes can we make so every woman gets the best response to support them in their journey to safety and recovery?

As I write this I am aware there are some great things happening, like Judges being trained in Domestic and Family Violence (D.F.V) and D.F.V workers to be trained at police stations in N.S.W.  But I’ve been thinking particularly about the difference first responders can make. Though there are many positive stories, too often we hear negative stories too – stories where even small changes in behaviour and attitude would have made a big difference. 

I went on a mission to ask the Family Workers and the Domestic Violence Rapid Response workers at Bonnie Support Service what they felt was sometimes missing in these first crucial moments  and what would make a difference for a more seamless transition into safety AND potentially save lives. 

Here’s what I heard:

 ✔️   First responders need more in depth training, including how children respond in DV situations. One worker stated that it was important to acknowledge that there were other forms of violence, not just physical violence and that these forms of violence should be taken just as seriously. This is one I have personally come across more times than I can remember. I feel this is where the specialized Domestic Violence training would be crucial, so there is more of an understanding of what coercive control is and how it presents. 

✔️  It’s so important that first responders believe women and have empathy for their situation. A gentler and kinder response at first contact would be far more conducive to healing. 

✔️  It would be beneficial if the first responders were women.

✔️  Workers felt that too often children were not being put on the ADVO, that it was being left in case it went to the family courts.

✔️  One of our Aboriginal workers Peta stated that first responders needed to understand that Domestic Family Violence is not a part of Aboriginal culture.

✔️  I also feel that a consistent response from first responders across the states and police stations would also be helpful. 


*First Responders could be anyone in the service, the police or agencies that help people in need.


You can read more on these ideas here:


Blog by Marryanne and team. 


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