IGFF receives partial funding as a Royal Commission Support Service. We help survivors, partners and family members to prepare (including written materials) for a private session with a Commissioner and give support if requested for public hearings. IGFF responds to survivors’ life situations before, during and after Royal Commission attendance. We refer survivors to additional Royal Commission Support Services and our own professional network.
Established in 2006, The Melbourne Victims’ Collective, is a unique example of a supportive and empowerment group with survivors, families, professionals and supporters who have been meeting every eight weeks. Founded by In Good Faith and Associates, it is now a work of the Foundation also providing feedback from survivors to the Board’s deliberations. MVC members and leaders discuss current issues, possible responses and may take collective action such as the ‘Rally of Hope’ in 2013. As an intentional survivors’ community, the MVC has also contributed to significant social change in relation to encountering clergy sexual abuse survivors.
Direct Survivor Services
The Foundation is committed to providing advocacy, support, pastoral care, referral and case assistance to ever increasing numbers of people seeking our help. Our specialised response respects personal values and faith beliefs; recognises victim’s trauma and resilience; raises potential for family reconnection. IGFF also invites survivors and professionals to work together as a support group – the Melbourne Victims’ Collective. Survivors also participate in our community education forums recently introducing restorative justice processes.
“ The last nine years with the MVC has given me a reason to heal.” – Survivor
Professional Referral Network
IGFF coordinates survivor assistance through referral to: mental health practitioners responding to complex post-trauma stress with individuals and groups; lawyers representing legal options, civil, mediation, restorative justice; specialist police unit SANO Taskforce, SOCIT investigation teams; experienced pastoral care providers and welfare supporters.
Sharing our Expertise as a Specialised Community Based Support Service
IGFF networks and resources with survivor groups drawing from our development history. Currently, IGFF supports a unique pastoral aid project ‘Lifeboat Geelong’, founded by Fr Kevin Dillon with a strong committee including survivors and professionals local to Geelong. The provision of support to survivors through pastoral care, welfare and social aid from a base of community donations is the work of Lifeboat Geelong. Information can be obtained through Fr Kevin Dillon and Saint Mary of the Angel’s Parish, Geelong, Victoria.
Partnerships in Education Events
In 2014, Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), organised through the Foundation, presented training on providing trauma informed services for the benefit of clergy abuse survivors. Other community representatives and professionals in our network also benefited. In 2015, the Foundation convened a whole day forum for 50 people on “Opportunities for Restorative Justice in Religious Communities” in partnership with the Victorian Association for Restorative Justice (VARJ) with a broad range of expert presenters, practitioners and survivors attending.