I’m writing to let you know that, as per the attached fact sheet from NSW Health regarding the Violence Abuse Neglect teams and the classification of domestic and family violence services as essential, until otherwise directed by the NSW Government the Illawarra Womens Health Centre is working on the assumption that we are classified as an ‘essential service’ and we will remain open for:
- Domestic and family violence and related mental health support services (including crisis support); and
- Essential medical services such as abortion, contraception and adverse cervical screening results.
This includes when we go into ‘lockdown’ which is expected shortly. We have all the appropriate hygiene and distancing protocols in place.
The fact sheet states very clearly that VAN services are considered ‘essential services’, because of the higher risk existing DFV clients will be in in this shutdown/lockdown environment as well as more generally, the inevitable increasing rates of DFV due to the crisis (which has been well covered in the media). The fact sheet specifically notes that in many instances it is NOT appropriate to provide telehealth support to DFV clients, because it creates additional risks for them and where possible support should be provided in person.
Also, we have established a Social Support telephone service, as per the attached flyer. Please feel free to refer your clients to this line, or the above services.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you need the Centre’s support.
Sally Stevenson AM, General Manager
t: 4255 6800 m: 0419 169 911