Page 732 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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MR DOSZPOT: Minister, when was this review completed?

MS BURCH: I think you are referring to a report. There was a final draft of a consultancy report provided to me. That is a work in progress. The government’s response to that is a work in progress and, as I have said, that will be released shortly.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what version of the report will you be releasing and what are the key findings and recommendations of that version?

MS BURCH: The key findings and recommendations of the report that I will be releasing will be evident when I release the report.

Mr Doszpot: A point of order. I asked what version. The minister made no reference to that.

MADAM SPEAKER: Have you got a version answer?

MS BURCH: I have answered the question.

Women—domestic violence

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Women. Minister, there have been stories in the Canberra Times about the pressure domestic violence services are facing. What is causing this pressure?

MS BERRY: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. Like many Canberrans, I was deeply distressed to hear of the death of a mother of three as a result of domestic violence. When tragedies like this occur it reminds us of the vulnerability of women in these circumstances and highlights the pressures on domestic violence services in the ACT.

Since the death of this woman a couple of weeks ago, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service has recorded a spike in the number of women seeking assistance and support, with some disclosing their experience of family violence to the Domestic Violence Crisis Service for the first time. This has had an impact at a local and national level, with increased awareness as media articles and public discussion about violence against women increase, prompting other victims to come forward and more women to seek domestic violence support services.

As media and community awareness of domestic violence increases in the ACT, so does the number of women who are seeking assistance and support from our services. From a national perspective, I believe that the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of Rosie Batty as the 2015 Australian of the Year raised the profile of domestic violence and sexual assaults and prompted an increased ongoing dialogue and public discussions.

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