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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 1002 ..

respond to domestic and family violence. It will improve coordination across government, build important partnerships within the community sector, and test promising new approaches. This is developing new and sustainable ways of working across government and the community to focus on intervening earlier, reducing barriers to access joined-up and integrated services and responding to diverse needs, as well as holding perpetrators to account.

The ACT government continues to invest strongly in primary domestic and family violence responses in recognition of the important role they play to support people impacted by sexual, domestic and family violence. In 2020-21 the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the Canberra Rape Crisis Service received nearly $1.1 million in government support. The government also funded $3.25 million in critical service responses, including services focusing on changing the behaviour of people who use violence, because women cannot be safe if we do not work with the people who are perpetrating violence. This has been a really great priority for the government to achieve and drive change to break the cycle of violence.

In 2020-21 the government invested over $2.1 million in our future by working with families and the community to keep families together, looking to emerging research and services that are demonstrating success in changing behaviour, and better integrating and coordinating our domestic and family violence responses. Also, $2.72 million has been committed over four years to deliver domestic and family violence training available for all public servants in the ACT, because change comes from developing a skilled and educated workforce equipped to recognise and respond to the needs of people experiencing domestic and family violence.

The flexibility of the next phase of the Safer Families initiatives allowed us to achieve even more than we outlined in the previous year’s budget statement. The ACT government continues to build whole-of-government and community sector capacity through the joint development of a draft domestic and family violence risk assessment and management framework that is being tested across a number of sites prior to its finalisation.

Following a successful six-month pilot in 2018-19, the Family Safety Hub’s three Health Justice Partnerships were extended to June 2021. The partnerships allow health professionals and lawyers to provide coordinated health and legal assistance that can prevent a significant crisis for individuals affected who are seeking that support. In partnership with the community sector, a set of practice standards for perpetrator interventions is being finalised. These standards improve safety for women and children by ensuring that programs for perpetrators operate in a way that keeps the focus on the safety of women and children and holds perpetrators to account whilst offering them effective opportunities to change.

Development of the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review commenced in 2020 and, once operational, this initiative will review all DFV related deaths in the ACT and advise on what is needed to prevent deaths and improve system-wide supports and services. It will work to establish a model for the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review process and that will continue, with legislation to establish the DFV Death Review to be progressed in 2021.

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