Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1242 ..
critical services responses in 2020-21, including supporting three health-justice partnerships. The service integrates lawyers in healthcare settings where they can reach people experiencing domestic violence who would otherwise not receive any help. We continue to focus on responses that change the behaviour of people who use violence, because we know that we can never make women safe if we do not deal with the violence being used.
In January 2020, the ACT government released a report into responses to domestic and family violence perpetrators—“Reducing domestic and family violence in the ACT”. This report highlighted the need to take a risk assessment approach and improve practices for holding perpetrators to account for their abuse and violence and at the same time offering them timely opportunities to change their behaviour. The report’s findings were based on a literature review of best practice for perpetrator programs and interventions, as well as two forums held with key ACT stakeholders and national experts.
In response, the government has funded DVCS to deliver Room4Change, a therapeutic residential men’s behaviour change program. Room4Change supports the whole family and is one of a small number of residential behaviour-change programs nationally. The government also continues to undertake ground-breaking research on people’s lived experience.
In 2019-20, the Family Safety Hub and the ACT Children and Young People Commissioner partnered to listen to young people talk about their experiences of family violence so those needs could be better understood. We know that it is only by listening to children and young people themselves that we can understand how they think and feel about family violence and what support they need in response.
The consultations helped to shed light on the unique experiences of young people when there is violence in their homes. From these conversations have come a series of insights, now published online and in a booklet titled, “Now you have heard us, what will you do?” The insights are a guide to how we can expand and improve services to better meet the needs of children and young people.
The Family Safety Hub is currently engaging with the youth sector and other relevant people in government, the community sector and the general community to explore opportunities to co-design and collaborate on the implementation of solutions to address the needs identified by young people. We have also committed $2.7 million over four years to deliver domestic and family violence training for all ACT public servants, because we know how important it is to continually develop our skilled workforce, ensuring they are equipped to recognise and respond to the needs of people experiencing domestic and family violence.
Mr Assistant Speaker, the coroner acknowledged in her findings that Bradyn’s schoolteachers were diligent, honest and thorough in their reporting and they were clearly concerned for his safety and welfare. However, the coroner has made a number of recommendations relating to school systems, which the ACT will consider carefully and respond to in due course.