The Domestic Violence Action Centre is a community-based service located in Ipswich. The primary focus of DVAC is direct service provision to women and children survivors of domestic and family violence. In work with women, children and young people, DVAC at all times will provide services that are safe, accountable and confidential ensuring that the rights of women, children and young people are respected. DVAC will ensure that the safety of women, children and young people is of paramount concern and will balance this with a respect for the rights of women to make informed decisions over their lives.
Counselling at DVAC is client-focussed and based on a feminist philosophy. This means that:
- We aim for women to have greater freedom and control over their own lives, including respecting their right to make your own decisions
- We believe in women’s potential and strengths
- We believe that women’s personal experiences of domestic violence are related to the unequal power relationship and inequalities between men and women in society
- We are committed to an open, honest, non-judgemental and equal counselling relationship with women
- We believe that women are the expert over their own life and, therefore, we are guided by women’s needs and wants during counselling.
Women need to contact DVAC and request counselling for themselves. After an initial over-the-phone conversation, the service worker will provide the woman with a date and time for an intake appointment. On this first appointment an initial counselling plan is done with the woman, which sets out what she hopes to achieve and what issues she would like to cover. In this appointment she will have the opportunity to meet the counsellor and ask any questions or clarify things in relation to the program. Counselling at DVAC normally involves having 12 appointments, which are usually about an hour long. We understand that sometimes it may not be possible for the woman to come along to an appointment because of sickness or another appointment elsewhere. In these situations, we ask that she call us and give us as much notice as possible of the cancellation. If the woman has to cancel an appointment, it does not affect how many appointments she has – she will still be offered 12 appointments.