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Major Achievements of The Homicide Victims Support Group (Aust) Inc.

Establishment of a recovery centre - Ebony House at Waterfall, NSW, Australia - the first of its kind in the world. The purpose of Ebony House is to give people affected by homicide a place to go when they feel overwhelmed with everyday life.

The production of a handbook for families of murder victims entitled "A Survivor's Guide To The Criminal Justice System" (written by Nanette Williams, Crown Prosecutor with the Director of Public Prosecutions the New South Wales Police Service and our group) to help demystify the criminal justice system. The printing of the handbook was donated by every Local Area Commander from within the NSW Police Service.

Introduction of truth in sentencing.

Automatic compensation for the families of murder victims, no longer do family members have to prove injury.

Changes to the laws not allowing convicted criminals to claim compensation whilst in prison.

Changes in legislation to prevent accused criminals refusing DNA tests.

Victim Impact Statements now introduced in Courts.

We work very closely with the NSW Police Service in specific education programs for police right throughtout NSW and at the Police Academy at Goulburn, NSW, Australia. Families of murder victims are invited to share their experiences with the police focusing on the needs of families after someone they love has been murdered.

24 hours a day, 365 days a year support and counselling for families of murder victims via our support line that we offer by the group. As a way of supporting people though difficult times we have some wonderful trained volunteer supporters. Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and give their time to support families, they all come from different backgrounds,eg psychology, social work, counselling,police, health and people who have also experienced the death of someone they love through murder.

Production of an award winning video "Living Beyond Murder".

Trained volunteers and staff members are available to help families through the Criminal Justice System. We explain the court process and attend court with families.

Launching an education program for the media to help them understand the trauma of victims throughout the whole process.

Changes in legislation to Home Invasion Laws.

Changes in legislation to Knife Laws.

Changes in legislation to the Public Safety Laws-which includes the move on legislation.

Changes to Police Powers.

Changes to the Law of Diminished Responsibility - no longer can an accused person use alcohol or drugs as a defence to committing murder.

The automatic right of families of murder victims to attend a childrens court without having to seek the leave of the court.

Changes to the Bails Act.

Changes to the Mandatory Life Sentences Act.

Involvement in the Criminal Procedures (Pre-trial disclosure)Bill

A monthly newsletter that is sent out to families, health care professionals, police and other interested persons.

Redetermination of sentence laws - a murderer has to serve a minimum of 20 years before his sentence can be redetermined - this is for sentences before truth in sentencing and applies to Anita Cobby's murderers and Virginia Morse's murderer whose files were stamped "Never to be released".

Input in a training package for Jury Preparation.

Input into the implementation of the Victims Register.


"Many people may listen, but few people actually hear."

Harvey Mackay