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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4212 ..


As the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence has already articulated, this government is absolutely committed to the prevention of domestic and family violence and to tackling it in a real and meaningful way. I know that this is a commitment shared across the community and the Assembly. I saw this on display at the DVPC meeting, which focused on the needs of children and young people affected by domestic and family violence, including sexual violence.

This extraordinary meeting, as Minister Berry has said, built on the historic gathering held in 2015 which identified key issues in the ACT relating to addressing domestic and family violence, including sexual assault, and informed the development of the new initiatives and strategic reforms underpinned by the safer families levy.

In spite of the ACT government’s significant work to address domestic and family violence in our community, we know that children are still being profoundly affected by violence in the home even when the violence is not directed at them. We also know that children can be lost in the response to domestic and family violence and that the long-term trauma and impacts of violence are not widely understood by parents or the system.

In my own portfolio of children, youth and families significant work has been and is being done to ensure that we better respond to the needs of children and young people impacted by violence in their families. Family and domestic violence, alongside drug and alcohol abuse and mental health, is one of the three most frequent reasons for involvement by child and youth protection services in the lives of children and families.

It is well known and documented that children who have been exposed to domestic violence are vulnerable to trauma reactions and poorer social and wellbeing outcomes in the longer term. But our systems are still grappling with how best to respond to the risks and impacts of cumulative harm to children and young people from witnessing domestic and family violence.

Child and youth protection services works with families affected by domestic and family violence through ensuring the children’s safety as the first priority. Child and youth protection services staff are trained in trauma-informed practice. CYPS works closely with ACT Policing and the Domestic Violence Crisis Service to ensure that women with children who are experiencing domestic violence are supported by CYPS to help keep their children safe.

The ACT government and community have made significant progress in how we approach family and domestic violence in the ACT. In the wake of Bradyn Dillon’s tragic death in 2016, the government acted quickly to commission the Review into the System Level Responses to Family Violence in the ACT headed by Laurie Glanfield AM.

The government provided a comprehensive response to the Glanfield inquiry in the ACT government response to family violence, which also responded to the other reports. Regular progress reports against this response have been provided to the


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