Albury's limited resources and lack of linked services to help women deal with the complex minefield of domestic violence has prompted a call for a far more integrated approach.
A far greater focus on preventative work backed-up with targeted funding was also crucial.
The Women's Centre for Health and Wellbeing said service providers were adept at sharing information, pooling resources to be as effective as possible.
But centre chief executive Lil Beamish said resourcing was still considerably better on the Victorian side of the border.
A lot of the men I've spoken to recognise and want to talk about domestic violence, but it's something that is not seen as acceptable ... men are open if we allow them.Women's Centre chief executive Lil Beamish
She favoured an overarching body to address domestic and family violence, taking service provision beyond mainly crisis work.
A key problem was the lack of case management for victims.
"What's required is more of an integrated model, of a task force or a committee made-up of both states," she said.
"What you would have is perhaps two levels.
"You'd have the decision-makers, the senior managers who would actually look at more of the strategic planning and how we can tackle this as a region.
"Then there is a more operational committee, let's say, that would be made up of the service providers themselves, the professionals."
Ms Beamish said such a strategic approach, incorporating far more advocacy targeting "decision-makers and the policy-makers" would give victims and their families genuine pathways.
"It would be a better streamlined system for victims of domestic violence, their families and the community itself to be able to access services."
That was so crucial, she said, because when people were in crisis they needed practical support straight away, but they also needed considerably more assistance to help them become much more resilient, "to be able to end up living a life free of violence".
"It will be scary for them. A lot of times they may stay in that relationship because they feel they have no other choice. We need to actually provide a lot more choices, to give them a lot more information so they can make informed decisions.
"Being able to actually get some sort of employment will provide a sense of independence and will give the women and their children options in life.
"Another way is to educate the community, especially for it to take responsibility. Everyone has a part to play in this."
That "no to violence" approach can include not tolerating language that in some way implies someone belongs to somebody else, "you know, calling someone 'my bitch'," she said.
"A lot of the men I've spoken to recognise and want to talk about domestic violence, but it's something that is not seen as acceptable for them to talk about. Men are open if we allow them."
Albury has not been lacking in programs funded to tackle crisis work, partly due to the flow-on from NSW reforms in 2014. This included the establishment of a court advocacy service, one of 29 around NSW.
Another significant development has been a mandate on domestic and family violence at a state level involving Family and Community Services, the Justice Department, NSW Health and NSW Police.
The Albury advocacy service caters for about 800 clients a year referred through that system, this coming on top of other reforms such as the Safer Pathway program rolled-out in Albury in September, 2017.
This aims to give victims a more effective response as a result of a joint approach by organisations such as police, corrections, education and community services.
- Emergency: 000
- DV Hotline: 1800 656 463
- Safe Steps: 1800 015 188
- Betty's Place Women's Refuge: 02 6058 6200 or 1900 885 355
- DV counselling: 1800 737 732
- Kids' Helpine: 1800 789 978
- MensLine: 1300 789 978
Such a holistic approach, one expert said, was the only way forward, though just part of the process of dealing with domestic violence.
What was crucial was getting the community on board.
"It has to be leaders - men and women - across workplaces, across major industry, across institutions who are part of driving that change, as well as community groups, neighbours and families and individual workplaces," Southern Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service's Robyn Mortlock said.
"When you're talking about respectful relationships, that occurs in all sectors.
"At the safety action meeting we have the Education Department decision-makers, we have FACS, we have the police, we have Albury Community Health, we have NGOs like Vinnies, like yes unlimited."
The substantial amount of work needed to provide more effective, long-term support, Ms Beamish said, reinforced the needed for a case management approach.
But Ms Mortlock said coupled with that was the need to hold perpetrators, mostly men, accountable for their "choices to inflict abusive behaviours".
And while respectful relationships were vital, as well as helping victims build resilience and giving them the space to "actually come to terms with what's happening", it was also about courage.
"It's courage for leaders, men and women, champions in politics, in our workplaces, in our bureaucracies," she said.
"It's courage for men and women to challenge some of the conversations they hear in their social networks and across the dinner table.
"And it's courage for victims of domestic violence to actually put that out into a public forum."
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