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Leave - Domestic or Family Violence Support Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) The University actively supports measures to reduce violence against women, promotes health and safety of staff on campus and recognises that staff will be amongst those affected by situations of domestic/family violence. This guideline outlines the support available to all staff members experiencing domestic/family violence, enabling staff experiencing domestic/family violence to continue to participate in the workplace and maintain their employment. This guideline is supported by the Domestic or Family Violence Leave Procedure but does not form part of the procedure.

(2) Students requiring support or assistance with domestic/family violence issues should contact the University's Counselling Service . In case of emergency, students can contact the Crisis and Emergency Counselling Services or Security .

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(3) This Guideline applies to:

  1. All University staff
  2. Managers/Supervisors, People and Culture staff

(4) The leave provisions of this guideline and the leave procedure do not apply to Students and external contractors.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(5) Nil

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(6) Nil

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Section 5 - Procedures

(7) Leave - Domestic or Family Violence Leave Procedure

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(8) The University's Enterprise Agreements and Domestic or Family Violence Leave Procedure identify that staff who are victims of domestic or family violence are entitled to paid or unpaid special leave and may use existing leave entitlements to attend to personal matters arising from domestic or family violence.

(9) Staff experiencing or escaping situations of domestic or family violence may ask for consideration of a range of measures to assist them in addressing their current circumstances while maintaining their employment. These could include:

  1. Access free counselling and crisis support through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  2. Seek support from their Manager or Supervisor
  3. Seek support from their relevant People and Culture (P&C) Business Partner
  4. Request flexible work arrangements, through the Flexible Work Arrangements Policy
  5. Apply for existing or special paid leave, which is also for managing situations of domestic and family violence, via the HR45 Application for Leave form
  6. Discuss with their Manager/Supervisor working from a different location
  7. Discuss with their Manager/Supervisor University Security escorts/assistance
  8. Discuss with their Manager/Supervisor and P&C Business Partner University IT Security Office assistance

(10) If all paid leave has been exhausted staff members, with the support of their Manager/Supervisor and P&C Business Partner, may apply to the Executive Director, People and Culture for additional leave with or without payment. Managers/Supervisors and any other parties involved must ensure that they deal with a staff member's application for Domestic or Family Violence Leave and/or support with sensitivity.

(11) In instances where the University requests proof of domestic or family violence this can be in the form of a document issued by the police service, a court, a medical practitioner, community or government agency, a counselling professional and/or a statutory declaration from the affected staff member. This information will be treated as any other workplace document in compliance with the University's privacy policy and will be shared only on an individual 'need to know' basis.

Managers and Supervisors

(12) Managers and Supervisors can assist staff experiencing domestic or family violence in the following ways:

  1. Direct staff to this document and other domestic or family violence resources on the University's intranet and online
  2. Provide information to staff members about the University's Employee Assistance Program
  3. Advise staff experiencing domestic or family violence of the services provided by University Security
  4. Seek advice as necessary from their relevant P&C Business Partner
  5. Approve leave in consultation with the Director, Advisory Services or the Executive Director, People and Culture, as appropriate
  6. Seek further support and advice from the Managers Hotline, through the University's EAP

People and Culture

(13) People and Culture can assist staff experiencing domestic or family violence in the following ways:

  1. Direct staff to their appropriate P&C Business Partner, this guideline and other support systems as listed above
  2. P&C Business Partners can provide information to Managers and Supervisors regarding this guideline and other support systems listed above
  3. P&C Business Partners can liaise with ITS Security Office regarding security precautions, such as blocking certain email addresses or changing a work phone number
  4. Approach the Director, Advisory Services and or Executive Director, People and Culture for leave approvals and further assistance, particularly for complex matters
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Section 7 - References/ Resources

(14) Victoria University Employee Assistance Program : Accessible through the VU Intranet, the EAP provides phone or in person counselling sessions and a referral service.
Toll free number: 1300 327 288

(15) 1800 RESPECT : National website with support services and resources, available in 28 languages other than English. Has a 'quick exit' button redirecting to Google.
Toll free number: 1800 737 732

(16) Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria : For Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples living in Victoria to access culturally safe and appropriate support services and resources
Toll free number: 1800 105 303

(17) Another Closet — LGBTIQ Domestic & Family Violence : National website for LGBTIQ people in relationships who are or may be experiencing domestic and family violence.
Toll free number: 1800 737 732

(18) Department of Human Services : Centrelink can provide extra financial support if you are in, have left, or are preparing to leave a situation where you are affected by domestic and/or family violence. Has an 'exit' button banner at the bottom of the page. Call to speak to a Centrelink social worker, or find out about extra financial support.
Phone: 132 850

(19) Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria : Victorian support service and resource centre, with a clickable map giving support services and resources for different regions in Victoria. Has a 'quick exit' button redirecting to Google.

(20) In-touch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence : Victorian multilingual multicultural support service and resource centre for women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
Toll free number: 1800 755 988

(21) Lifeline: National website giving support services and resources for those suffering from mental health issues, as well as those experiencing domestic and/or family violence.
Toll free number: 13 11 14

(22) Men's Referral Services (MRS) : The MRS takes calls from Australian men dealing with family and domestic violence matters. They offer anonymous and confidential telephone counselling information and referrals to help men.
Toll free number: 1300 766 491

(23) Mensline Australia : Mensline Australia is the national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns. Mensline provides 'male-friendly' counselling both online and by telephone.
Toll free number: 1300 789 978 (Avail 24/7)

(24) Optum's Manager Hotline: Hotline available during work hours, all calls attended to by senior clinicians. Accommodating to reasonable requests outside of these hours. Any serious risk issues will be responded to immediately or referred to after-hours psychologists.
Toll free number: 1300 361 008

(25) Our Watch : Aim is drive nation-wide change in the cultures, behaviours and attitudes that underpin and create violence against women and children.
Phone: (03) 8692 9500

(26) Safesteps: National website with safety planning, risk assessment and further support services. Has a 'quick escape' button redirecting to Google.
Toll free number: 1800 015 188

(27) WIRE: Provides support, information and referrals to women throughout Victoria who may be experiencing any type of issues in their households: domestic violence, health, relationships, family, housing, legal and money issues. It's a free and confidential service, they will listen and provide support where needed.
Toll free number: 1300 134 130

(28) Women's Health West : Western suburbs Victoria support service and resource centre with information about safety planning, what is family violence and further links. Has an 'exit site' button redirecting to Google.
Phone: (03) 9689 9588

(29) Women's Legal Service : National network of community legal centres specialising in women's legal issues. They aim to promote a legal system that is safe, supportive, non-discriminatory and responsive to the needs of women.
Toll free number: 1800 133 302

(30) Crazy Love Book and TEDTALK by Leslie Morgan Steiner

(31) Mobile Apps:

  1. Aurora
  2. Live Free (Rotary)
  3. Daisy (Medibank Private)
  4. Aspire News (Created by Robin McGraw (wife of Dr Phil) Invisible app to help victims of domestic violence)