QDVSN Conference

Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network presents


Developing Integrated Responses to Domestic and Family Violence in Australia: The Next Step
8th May – 10th May 2018

This excellent conference brings international speakers to Brisbane to support local, regional and state-based systems to strengthen coordination and collaboration, protect victim survivors and hold perpetrators accountable by presenting a variety of learnings as well as practical tools. The QDVSN invite DV Sector staff, Prosecutors, Police, Magistrates, Legal Representatives, Department of Justice staff and others to the table to share timely and positive opportunities to break down barriers and develop possible partnerships and collaborative efforts across. The conference aims to be practical, experiential, useful and affordable. This conference will be useful especially if you are a part of an Integrated Response, starting and Integrated Response or have been hearing about Integrated Responses coming your way!

Presenters include:
  • Melissa Scaia, MPA, Director of International Training at Global Rights for Women, Co-Founder of Domestic Violence Turning Points and Former Exec of Domestic Abuse Intervention Program (DAIP) Duluth, Minnesota
  • Graham Barnes, former Duluth Men’s Program Facilitator and Trainer, New Zealand
  • Hon. Shaun Floerke, District Court Judge Duluth, Minnesota
  • Kay Arola, Director of Arrowhead Regional Corrections, Minnesota
  • Lori Flohaug, Former Prosecutor, Public Defender, Civil & Family Law Lawyer and Judge for the Leech Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota
  • Scott Miller, DAIP and Co-ordinator of Co-ordinated Community Response Programs for the Office of Violence Against Women Duluth, Minnesota
  • Gabrielle Davis, Legal & Policy Advisor, Battered Women’s Justice Project, Minneapolis
  • Laura Goodman, Deputy Chief (RET), International Police Advisor, Education for Critical Thinking, Minnesota
  • Coordinated Community Response
  • Discipline skills in domestic violence cases
  • Special topics
  • Judicial leadership in addressing domestic violence
  • The needs and voices of aboriginal women
  • De-gendering of language and implications in DV and Family Law Courts

Click here to download a PDF of the Conference Program »

Special Topic Workshops:


Law Enforcement Techniques and Strategies in Cases of Domestic Violence

Laura Goodman

The crime of domestic violence is complex and law enforcement officers often feel frustrated and discouraged when responding. Officers provide as much support to victims as possible, but when equipped with a better understanding of the nuances and dynamics of this intimate partner crime, they can more effectively address victims’ needs and hold offenders accountable. This session will also provide law enforcement officers with the skills to determine the predominant aggressor in cases of domestic violence.

The Art of Dialogue when Working with Victims or Perpetrators

Melissa Scaia and Graham Barnes

Many group sessions and one-on-one sessions with victims or perpetrators are unintentionally dominated by the intervener. In a group process, co-facilitation is very challenging and often does not occur. Usually one facilitator dominates the group process. Learn how to conduct a group facilitation process, one-on-one meeting and use dialogue that is based in co-facilitation and a non-oppressive model based on the work of Paulo Freire. This workshop is for facilitators of all types of groups and those who meet with clients one-on-one.

Partnering with Victims and Advocates in Developing CCR Interventions

Scott Miller with Kay Arola, Lori Flohaug and Judge Floerke

This workshop will be facilitated by Scott Miller of DAIP and include a judge, former prosecutor and probation officer to discuss how “justice” can be determined in cases of domestic violence. Archbishop Desmond Tutu tells us that justice demands three things:

1) that the truth be told;

2) that to whatever extent possible the harm be repaired; and

3) that the conditions that gave rise to the injustice be forever altered.

This session will look at the role of key criminal justice interveners and how they can alter the conditions that give rise to this devastating form of violence. This workshop will also explore how the voices of victims of domestic violence can be included in the creation of policy and practice of the criminal justice system.

Working with Perpetrators as Parents and Understanding their Change Process

Melissa Scaia and Graham Barnes

Most traditional parenting curricula seek to get the parent to “do something different.” Many traditional parenting curricula are inadequate to address the beliefs held by men who batter and abuse their partners and children. These curricula often seek to get fathers to change their behaviours without addressing the underlying beliefs that support them. Addressing fatherhood with abusive and violent parents requires a process that seeks to change the underlying beliefs that justify the violent and abusive  behaviours. Research has shown that addressing parenting by men who batter is a key motivator for them to change.

Probation Response to Addressing Domestic Violence

Kay Arola

Intimate partner domestic violence victims suffer physical, emotional, sexual and economic abuse perpetrated by current or former spouses and other intimate partners. Community corrections agencies and professionals who supervise defendants and offenders released in the community on pretrial release, probation supervision, or parole have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the safety and well-being of domestic violence victims through effective supervision of domestic violence offenders.

Evaluating Risk in a Coordinated Community Response

Scott Miller with Judge Floerke, Lori Flohaug and Laura Goodman

Communities all across the globe have begun to create risk assessments to determine who is doing what to whom and with what impact in cases of domestic violence. No domestic violence is the same. Interventions should be different for violent acts that lack context of coercion, intimidation and control for example. Interventions for the most dangerous offenders require a lot of resources. The city of Duluth was chosen as a Blueprint for Safety Demonstration Site by the US Department of Justice. Duluth and St. Louis County enhanced its work by incorporating risk assessment into each criminal justice agency. In particular, law enforcement added additional questions and a bail memo with risk assessment data was created for use by judges.




Advanced Advocacy Skills on Behalf of Victims of Domestic Violence

Melissa Scaia

This workshop will take a deeper look at the role of advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Advocates have two roles:
1) advocacy on behalf of individual victims of domestic violence; and
2) systemic advocacy.

“To advocate” means to speak on behalf of another. This workshop will look at the complex issues around confidentiality. In addition, advocates often get asked by a victim, “Will he change? How do I know if he really did?” This session will also give advocates a framework for helping victims understand the answers to these questions. When people use the term “advocacy” they most often are referring to individual advocacy. Individual advocacy informs all other types and is often the most recognisable. Systemic advocates seek to reform the justice system and challenge the community to stand with victims of domestic violence. This workshop will also explore how systems advocates can transform individual women’s needs in a particular community into an agenda at a local and institutional level.

Restorative Justice Circles in Cases of Domestic Violence

Judge Floerke and Scott Miller with Kay Arola

In this workshop, participants will learn about the structure and development of restorative justice circles in cases of domestic violence. The core theories for doing this work will be explored. The trainers will share the benefits and consideration to take into place if your community is considering this intervention. In Duluth, this intervention was created to address domestic violence with offenders where traditional interventions did not work.

Introduction to the SAFeR Framework for Family Court and Domestic Violence Cases – mediation, custody, decision-making about the child

Gabrielle Davis

This workshop is an introduction to the SAFeR Framework. SAFeR can be used by anyone, including parties, in any family court proceeding.

SAFeR consists of the following four parts:

1. Screening for IPV

The first step is to determine whether IPV is an issue in the case. Screening for IPV must be safe. Parties must be informed about the potential risks of talking about IPV. They need to know why they are being asked about abuse, how the information will be used, who will have access to it, and where it might show up later.

2. Assessing the Nature and Context of IPV

Once IPV is identified, practitioners need know more specifically who is doing what to whom and why. And, in the context of a family law case, it is important to know what is going on with respect to parenting and the health, safety and wellbeing of the children, as well as the parent who is subjected to abuse.

3. Focus on the Effects of IPV

The third step asks whether and how the abuse matters for the task or decision at hand. For instance, how does the abuse impact parenting arrangements in a custody case? How does the abuse impact safety in a protection order case? How does abuse impact negotiations in mediation?

4. Respond to IPV

The fourth step focuses on addressing and correcting, if possible, the problems that the abuse is creating. The idea is to appropriately respond to the parties’ experience of abuse.