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Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program

The Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program (WDVCAP) Unit administers NSW Government funding for a network of 27 Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCASs) across the state. WDVCASs are locally-based, incorporated, not-for-profit, non-government service providers.

The WDVCAP Unit monitors WDVCAS service providers to ensure they meet their service agreement obligations, and women and children receive a professional and effective service. The WDVCAP Unit also provides training and mentoring to WDVCAS staff and seconded workers, to ensure adherence to the WDVCAP model of best practice service delivery.

The WDVCAP Unit works in partnership with NSW Police Force, NSW Local Courts, the Department of Justice and a range of other stakeholders such as housing and health services.

WDVCASs provide information, advocacy and referrals to assist women and their children who are or have been experiencing domestic and family violence, with their legal, social and welfare needs. WDVCASs assist women to obtain effective legal protection through applications for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) at all 136 local court locations across NSW.

WDVCASs provide women and their children with information, advocacy and safety planning where appropriate. They provide referrals to services including housing, counselling, financial assistance or health services. A number of WDVCASs work with solicitors from the Domestic Violence Unit or Domestic Violence Duty Scheme, who can provide legal advice on matters including Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs), financial advice, family law, immigration and other issues.

Through these services, WDVCASs aim to provide victims with:

  • improved access to and understanding of the ADVO and criminal justice process;
  • effective legal protection through an ADVO;
  • appropriate ADVOs designed to fit their specific needs;
  • effective and appropriate legal representation;
  • access to a support system that can assist them with their other legal and social welfare needs; and
  • improved experience of the justice system, for example, being able to obtain an appropriate final order as quickly and efficiently as possible
Before court

If you have a domestic violence matter which is going to court and you want to know what will happen, the WDVCAS can provide you with information and referrals to other agencies and services for assistance. The WDVCAS will also let you know where they are located at the court so you can find them easily on the day.

At court

The WDVCAS will make sure you have a safe place to sit at court, give you information to help you understand what is happening, and work with you to get an order that is best for your situation. Where available, the WDVCAS will link you with free legal and other advice at court. We will keep you informed about the progress of your case, including any upcoming dates when you need to attend court.

After court

The WDVCAS may refer you to other services that can help you with things such as safe housing, income support, children's needs, family law and counselling. They will provide you with information about how to keep yourself and your children safe, and what to do if the abuse or control continues.

If your ADVO matter is set down for a defended hearing, the WDVCAS can organise for you to attend a hearing clinic which helps explain what happens at court on the day of the hearing. Some WDVCASs have specialist workers to help Aboriginal women, or women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Ask us if you need interpreter services.

In 2014 the It Stops Here: Standing together to end domestic and family violence in NSW (Safer Pathway) reforms were launched. Safer Pathway is a coordinated service delivery model for domestic violence victims across NSW.

Safer Pathway is fully operational across NSW. Safer Pathway comprises:

  • a common risk assessment tool (the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool, or DVSAT), the use of which is mandatory for NSW Police Force state-wide, and encouraged for other service providers;
  • a streamlined referral pathway through an online platform, the Central Referral Point (CRP), managed by Victims Services;
  • consistent access to specialist domestic violence support for victims through a network of Local Coordination Points (LCPs); and
  • a priority, cross-agency response to victims at serious threat of injury or death due to domestic violence through Safety Action Meetings (SAMs).

The WDVCASs were chosen to host the LCPs for female victims due to their state-wide coverage, local knowledge, existing referral pathways and specialist knowledge.

LCPs provide clients with threat assessment, case coordination (i.e. warm referrals to local services for key needs) and safety planning. LCPs also provide victim liaison and secretariat support for SAMs.

Further information on Safer Pathway can be accessed here:

WDVCASPhoneLocal Courts covered
Burwood(02) 9739 6243Burwood
Central CoastGosford (02) 4346 4452
Wyong (02) 4346 4451
Gosford, Woy Woy, Wyong
Central North-West1800 940 406Brewarrina, Bourke, Cobar, Lightning Ridge, Nyngan, Walgett
Central West(02) 6361 3345Bathurst, Blayney, Condobolin, Cowra, Forbes, Lake Cargelligo, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Peak Hill
Coffs-Clarence(02) 6650 0302Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Maclean
Cumberland(02) 8833 0922Parramatta
Far West(08) 8087 2053Broken Hill, Wentworth, Wilcannia
Hunter Valley(02) 4936 2906Cessnock, Dungog, Kurri Kurri, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Raymond Terrace, Scone, Singleton
Illawarra(02) 4229 4604Albion Park, Kiama, Port Kembla, Wollongong
Macarthur(02) 4640 7333Camden, Campbelltown, Picton
Mid-CoastPort Macquarie (02) 6584 0053
Taree (02) 6551 3356
Forster, Gloucester, Kempsey, Macksville, Port Macquarie, Taree, Wauchope
Monaro-Hume(02) 6299 3835Bombala, Cooma, Crookwell, Goulburn, Grenfell, Moss Vale, Queanbeyan, Yass, Young
Murray River(02) 6046 9480Albury, Corowa, Deniliquin, Finley, Holbrook, Moama
Murrumbidgee(02) 6962 3893Griffith, Hay, Leeton, Narrandera, West Wyalong
Nepean-Blue Mountains(02) 4711 3888Katoomba, Penrith, Windsor
New England1800 004 022Armidale, Boggabilla, Glen Innes, Inverell, Moree, Mungindi, Tenterfield, Warialda
Newcastle(02) 4940 8766Belmont, Newcastle, Toronto
North-West Sydney(02) 4577 6847Blacktown, Mt Druitt
Northern Rivers(02) 6621 1044Ballina, Byron Bay, Casino, Kyogle, Lismore, Mullumbimby, Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads
Northern Sydney(02) 8425 8707Hornsby, Manly
Oxley1800 938 227Gunnedah, Quirindi, Narrabri, Tamworth, Walcha, Wee Waa
Riverina(02) 9063 8644Cootamundra, Gundagai, Junee, Temora, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Wagga Wagga
South Coast(02) 4476 5416Batemans Bay, Bega, Eden, Milton, Moruya, Narooma, Nowra
South West Sydney(02) 9601 6988Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool
Southern Sydney(02) 8508 4300Sutherland
Sydney(02) 9287 7505Central, Downing Centre, Newtown, Waverley
Western1800 940 406Coonabarabran, Coonamble, Dubbo, Dunedoo, Gilgandra, Gulgong, Mudgee, Narromine, Rylstone, Warren, Wellington