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Family Violence (Student Support) procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 13 December 2023.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure outlines the steps that students who are currently experiencing, or who have previously experienced family violence can take to access available support mechanisms.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all students.

(4) Reports of family violence impacting children are managed through the Child Safety policy.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) This Procedure is pursuant to the Family Violence (Staff and Student Support) policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(6) The University will adopt a collaborative approach to supporting students who are currently experiencing, or have previously experienced family violence. The University's Safer Community will act as the central point of enquiry for information, advice and support and will engage with internal and external support stakeholders as appropriate. 

Requesting support

(7) A student who is currently experiencing, or who has previously experienced family violence may disclose their experience to any member of the Deakin community. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. staff within the University's Safer Community;  
  2. an academic or professional staff member; 
  3. Harassment and Discrimination Contact Officers
  4. a University health professional; 
  5. a member of Deakin University Student Association (DUSA);
  6. Deakin Residential Services staff;
  7. Deakin Security.

Staff Training

(8) The University provides professional development for staff to understand and respond to interpersonal violence. All staff are encouraged to engage with the available programs, in particular those staff listed as a disclosure contact point in clause 6.

Managing requests for support and responding to a disclosure

(9) Any individual receiving a disclosure will:

  1. respect the right of the student to make their own decisions regarding their personal affairs and avoid judgement; and
  2. bring the Family Violence (Staff and Student Support) policy and this Procedure to the attention of the affected student; and
  3. where appropriate, support the person to connect with Safer Community; and
  4. report the disclosure to Safer Community as soon as practicable. If the person making the disclosure does not provide consent for their identity to be shared, the person making the report to Safer Community may withhold this information. Safer Community will provide advice regarding appropriate support and referral services.

Support measures available to students

(10) Safer Community can support and assist students who are currently experiencing, or have previously experienced family violence to access available support measures. Support measures available through Deakin include, but are not limited to:

  1. academic accommodations: applications for special consideration, extensions, intermissions and withdrawals. Applications for special consideration and extensions will be assessed in accordance with the Assessment (Higher Education Courses) procedure. Applications for withdrawal and intermission will be assessed in accordance with the Enrolment, Fees and Charges procedure.
  2. safety planning: changes to student email address, blocking of particular email contacts and assistance from University security while on campus or arriving or leaving campus. Safety planning will be coordinated by Safer Community, in consultation with other areas of the University as required, on a confidential basis.
  3. Medical and psychological support provided by the University health and wellbeing services
  4. other reasonable provisions determined on a case, by case basis, such as advice, information and referrals to appropriate support agencies.

Supporting Documentation

(11) When applying for support under this Procedure a student may be required to provide supporting documentation. Supporting documentation can be in the form of a document issued by: 

  1. the police
  2. a court
  3. a medical practitioner
  4. a government agency
  5. a counselling professional
  6. in some circumstances a statutory declaration from the student may be accepted.

Record keeping

(12) Any notes of meetings, discussions and actions proposed or taken, including safety plans must be stored in a secure location in accordance with the Privacy policy.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(13) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. family violence: is defined in the Family Violence (Staff and Student Support) policy.
  2. Student: as defined in the Family Violence (Staff and Student Support) policy.