Page 3920 - Week 09 - Thursday, 25 August 2011

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Whilst we need individuals to stand up and speak out, this strategy requires us to work collaboratively and across disciplines to address the causes and consequences of violence against women and children in our community.

The ACT is leading the way in actually creating a sense of safety in relation to safety for women and girls in public spaces. This year we have had two women’s safety audits undertaken at the Australia Day Live concert and the Multicultural Festival. The safety audit tool is now available for major events in Canberra and is an area that will be progressed through this strategy.

Also in the ACT there have been significant and sustained activities to improve system responses to family violence and sexual assault. This has included the family violence intervention program, established in 1998, and the sexual assault reform program, established in 2007. These approaches contribute to the ease and confidence with which those subjected to violence can engage with the criminal justice system. However, the ACT strategy also encompasses a broader response to violence against women and children, including a focus on prevention and early intervention and provision of support to those that do not engage with the criminal justice system.

In this year’s budget there was some funding for extra assistance for men and young men who use violence. The family violence prevention program will work intensively with men who use violence to effect long-term behavioural change and to reduce reoffending. Funding for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guidance partner and remuneration of the Galambany circle sentencing court panel will assist young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are referred to restorative justice.

In last year’s budget there were also additional funds to provide support in establishing a court advocacy service provided by the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, increasing the capacity of the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre. This strategy focuses on consolidating work to lay the foundations so that future work can occur. This will involve significant cooperation between the government and the community sector.

I would like finally to acknowledge all those involved in the development of the ACT prevention of violence against women strategy, including members of the ACT advisory council on women, the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, community and government participants in the round table and the community sector reference group, who ensured that issues for all women were considered in the development of the whole-of-community response to reduce violence against women and their children.

This government strongly believes that it is the right of all women and children in our community to live free from fear and experience of violence. It is my, your and our responsibility to ensure that that is so.


Mr Corbell presented the following papers:

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