This panel (made up of women with both professional expertise and lived experience) will explore the intersection of victim survivors’ experience of the justice system and experiences of victimisation and violence, with a particular focus on resistance and responses to the violence.
The discussion will explore CRC’s Miranda Project, which works with female and non-binary people who are at risk of both imprisonment and family/domestic violence. Operating since 2017, outcomes for the clients of the project have been remarkable both in terms of reduced justice system involvement and building pathways away from violence. This panel will examine the work of the Miranda Project specifically, as well as the broader structural and cultural factors that contribute to women’s over-imprisonment. Many of Miranda’s clients have incarceration trajectories that are directly related to their experience of violence – including, for instance, using self-protection strategies. The panel will ask questions about resistance to violence, and what this can and does look like. How do we respond to women who have experienced violence, including women who are labelled as perpetrators? How do we find ways of better understanding the impact of violence and victimisation on behaviour – including behaviour that is criminalised? In recognition of the ongoing over-representation of First Nations women in the criminal justice system, the panel will also consider models of healing. What can we learn from Aboriginal healing strategies? How do these differ from other models of support? And what options are genuinely available for women who are so often excluded from services because of both their history of incarceration and the complexity of their presentation?
Marisa is a counsellor and psychotherapist with 20 years’ experience in the community sector in various roles working with victims of violence. In recent years, as Program Manager of CRC’s Miranda Project, she has turned her attention to working with women impacted by the criminal justice system who have been victims of violence, and the ever-increasing over-representation of First Nations women in the criminal justice system. Marisa is passionate about working with victims to have their voices heard and their resistance recognised, advocating for every individual’s right to safety, dignity and equality, as well as the cultural, societal and systemic change needed to reduce injustice and violence for future generations.
Jessica began working for CRC in 2014. Over the past eight years, she has worked with both men and women, but has primarily worked in a frontline role providing wholistic case management support to women who are involved in the justice system and are transitioning from prison into the community. Jessica has also done some work around male perpetrators of violence and men’s behaviour change. She has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Psychology and Sociology, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Health and Counselling. Jessica is passionate about social inclusion and empowering and supporting individuals to develop an identity and life outside of the criminal justice system.
Gail is a Gumbaynggirr and Wiradjuri woman, originally from the Mid North Coast. Gail was raised on Gadigal country by her grandmother, a proud Wiradjuri woman. Gail began working with rough sleepers as a Peer Support Worker in a homeless outreach service, then moved to community living support programs. For the past eight years, Gail has been working passionately to support individuals affected by both the criminal justice system and substance use, with a more recent specific focus on women who have also been victims of family and domestic violence. Gail is an advocate for culturally led healing and has lived experience of the criminal justice system and violence.
Kelly Parker is a Wiradjuri woman born and raised on Dharug land in Western Sydney. Kelly has been involved in the community services sector for many years, working with individuals who have been victims of domestic and family violence and other crimes. For the past eight years, Kelly has been working with women involved in the criminal justice system. Kelly has completed a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Criminology, and is passionate about supporting individuals who are facing challenges in their lives and advocating on their behalf for positive outcomes, safety and change.
Bianca has been working in the AOD sector for the past seven years in a range of settings, including a youth-specific residential treatment program, a mentoring program for young women at risk of incarceration, and a homelessness support program. Bianca has experience in a range of roles including frontline crisis management and case management, as well as team leader and senior roles. Bianca’s passion for supporting those with substance-use issues and related harms comes from her own lived experience of trauma, substance abuse, violence and incarceration. With the support of services such as CRC, that operate within a trauma-informed framework, Bianca has been able to complete her Youth Work Diploma and she is currently working towards her Bachelor of Psychological Science. Bianca uses her life and work experiences to challenge the stigma against those who have had interactions with the criminal justice system resulting from lack of support relating to AOD use.
Rhiannon is a Gudang Yadhaykenu woman born and raised on Darug Land in Western Sydney. Rhiannon has lived and worked in community for most of her career, which has allowed her to build strong cultural connections with families and services in Western Sydney. Rhiannon spent time supporting families as a case worker in Mt Druitt for the Department of Communities and Justice, which inspired her move into the community sector. Rhiannon will graduate this year with a Bachelor of Criminology and aims to use both her lived experience of domestic and family violence and acquired knowledge to support the women with whom she works. Rhiannon is passionate about working alongside women in Western Sydney and aims to enhance understanding of intergenerational trauma and promote the need for cultural healing to services and women in the West.