About Project Safe Space

Project Safe Space is an initiative of the Journalism program in the Griffith University School of Humanities. The project brings together domestic violence survivors, community advocates, support workers, and Griffith journalism staff and students in a focused Project Safe Space journalism clinic. In addition, the Griffith Law School’s specialist elective course in domestic violence law is engaging students and staff with Project Safe Space to openly and constructively discuss issues surrounding this most urgent contemporary social issue.

The project aims to educate the community about issues surrounding domestic violence and to provide a voice for those directly and indirectly affected by domestic violence. At the same time, the project will provide journalism students with appropriate training in best-practice reporting and a better understanding of domestic violence issues. It also aims to give law students the opportunity to engage in a real way with the practical legal implications of existing laws surrounding domestic violence and to investigate possibilities for law reform in this area.

Project Partners:

While Project Safe Space is an initiative of Griffith Journalism, School of Humanities, we recognise domestic violence is a much larger problem that extends to many different practical and research disciplines. We are working with community partners to better facilitate change. This Work Integrated Learning (WIL) project provides not only learning opportunities for our students, but hopes to provide a significant service to vulnerable communities and their advocates. The project will work in conjunction with a number of stakeholders including:

  • Federal MP Terri Butler
  • Domestic Violence Action Centre (Ipswich)
  • DV Connect
  • Men’s Line
  • Bravehearts
  • Better Life Psychology
  • R.E.A.D Clinic
  • Griffith Law School
  • Grow Support Incorporated
  • Mentors in Violence Protection
  • Queensland Eidfest Association Inc.
  • Rachel Kayrooz – White Warrior Challenge

The project is also meeting with Department of Communities, Queensland Police Service, Legal Aid and other state agencies.

The Project Safe Space Journalism Student Component: Project Safe Space Journalism Clinic

Students working as part of the journalism component of the project will produce a series of videos that provide domestic violence survivors and advocates with a voice. These videos aim to provide insight into some of the realities of intimate partner violence, and to highlight the misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding the actions and behaviours of those affected by domestic violence.

Journalism students undertaking the program’s Investigative Journalism unit will also carry out longer form research-based journalism on this issue, examining national and international trends, and delivering content to the program’s online, multi-platform portal. The Source (thesourcenews.com) journalism staff, Faith Valencia, Kasun Ubayasiri and Susan Forde, will oversee journalism student contributions and involvement in the project.

The Project Safe Space Law Student Component: Community education, Law Reform and Client Support

Students undertaking the law elective in Domestic Violence will have an option to work with the community partners of Project Safe Space to provide support for clients and to explore opportunities for law reform in this area. The new generation of graduating lawyers who take part in this project will have unique insights into the issues surrounding domestic violence as a result of having worked closely with survivors, advocacy centres and our journalists in the preparation of information and materials relevant to domestic violence issues, as well as working on law reform submissions through the Law Student Space.

 Project Outcomes:

  • A unique Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) experience for both journalism and law students, working on real projects about this pressing contemporary social issue
  • The development of a body of media work – including videos, audio, feature stories and news stories – which will enhance student, staff and the broader community’s understanding of domestic violence, its causes and effects
  • The development of sample law reform submissions, which are intended to feed in to broader public debates about recognised, necessary changes that will afford greater protection to victims and highlight initiatives designed to reduce the incidence of domestic abuse and related homicide
  • The creation of a media resource kit outlining appropriate journalistic practice and reporting guidelines for domestic violence related issues

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