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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1226 ..


I really look forward to the outcomes of the work that Minister Berry has commenced and look forward to working in close collaboration with the specialist homelessness sector, responding to the issues identified through this current work to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support victim survivors to heal, recover and thrive in their new lives.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (10.23): I thank the minister for the collaborative way in which she is conducting this work. I am encouraged and quite delighted that such an important issue has been taken so seriously across all three political parties in this place in a tripartisan manner.

I got a lot out of joining the minister at the launch of this reform work just across the road. I am compelled to rise to speak briefly, Madam Speaker, though I was not intending to, noting that so far only my female colleagues have risen to speak. I have grown troubled that this is an issue that disproportionately affects women in our city, and I am committed to making sure that it is not a problem that women are disproportionately burdened with fixing.

The contribution I want to make, very quickly and very simply, is to encourage the men of Canberra to engage earnestly and enthusiastically in this conversation. I encourage them to listen not only to their mothers, their wives and their sisters but to all women, including the women here who speak with not only professional but personal experience on these issues; to come to the conversation with an open mind; and to try and learn the skills necessary when working with males in their family, their workplace and their community. As Dr Paterson so rightly pointed out in her contribution, the perpetrators overwhelmingly are men that we know.

I am very enthusiastic about the work that we are going to do together on this. I again thank the minister for including me. I am looking forward to speaking less and listening more—engaging where it is constructive and helpful and, as a man in the debate and as the ACT Greens spokesperson for the elimination of family and domestic violence, doing all I can to engage with the men of this city to ensure that an issue that disproportionately affects women is not the burden of women disproportionately to solve.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.26): I am pleased to speak today in support of Minister Berry’s speech and to echo the government’s commitment to sexual assault prevention and response.

Sexual assault prevention and response, including the way the system responds to reports of sexual assault and the supports provided to victim survivors, is an important issue because it affects so many people in our community. We have heard from sexual assault survivors and the sector that trauma that stems from sexual assault and the process of reporting assault can stay with people for a long time and affect their quality of life and their happiness.


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