Whittlesea CALD Communities Family Violence Research Report 2012 - Page 20

19 Victoria Police do not record data on the country of birth or cultural identity of victims of family violence. Organisations that provide services to the City of Whittlesea generally collect statistical data about clients who access their services. However there is little consistency between organisations on the type of data collected and the method of data collection. Data collection may even differ within agencies between different program areas and the type of data collected is often dependent on reporting requirements for funding bodies. At the beginning of the scoping exercise it was envisaged that statistical data would be collected from each organisation that provides family violence services to the City of Whittlesea, both family violence specialist and non-family violence specialist, to build up an accurate picture of who is and who isn’t accessing services and the types of services that are being accessed. A comprehensive questionnaire was prepared and distributed to each of the relevant organisations. However, only three agencies were able to access enough data to provide a partially completed questionnaire and only one agency was able to provide answers to all questions for all program areas. Both family violence specialist agencies were able to provide the most comprehensive data. One of the principal difficulties encountered by agencies in responding to the questionnaire was in separating data for CALD clients from non-CALD clients. Ethical Constraints At the beginning of the scoping exercise it was anticipated that identifying CALD women who would be willing to share their experiences of family violence for the project would be difficult. Prior to embarking on the consultation and community engagement aspect of the scoping exercise there was considerable discussion and preliminary work undertaken by the WCF CALD Cluster around how best to engage with individuals and communities in relation to this sensitive and often taboo topic. In particular the challenge was how best to ensure that the views of women who had experienced family violence were heard but in a way that minimised any harm or distress that might be caused by revisiting their experiences. In fact there was a better than anticipated response to the scoping exercise by the local community with 10 women and 6 Community and Religious leaders agreeing to participate in consultations conducted by the Project Leader. Many of the women involved were eager to participate in consultations and share their experiences in order assist other women experiencing family violence. Consultations with the community were underpinned by an ethical framework that was developed by the CALD Cluster group and based on the WCF Community Engagement Principles and The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007). Interview questions were structured so as to focus primarily on women’s experiences of service access rather than their experiences of family violence. All women who participated in consultations were asked to sign a consent form that provided referral information including contact numbers and information about family violence services where they could pursue further support if needed. It was also emphasised t