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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 785 ..

The funding that I announced last week is worth reiterating. On top of the nearly $5.5 million that the government provides in budget funding each and every year to a range of community sector providers when it comes to responding to domestic violence, last week I approved additional allocations of $300,000 from the confiscated assets trust fund for the purposes of addressing a range of priority projects. That includes $100,000 for the domestic violence project coordinator to develop the ACT domestic and family violence data framework.

The development of the data framework is a priority of the family violence intervention program and the Domestic Violence Prevention Council. It will build on the development of the ABS’s conceptual framework for domestic and family violence and it will help inform our knowledge and understanding of data to make sure policy is grounded in evidence. It also provides funding to the Domestic Violence Prevention Council itself of $100,000 to expand its functions and $100,000 for a grants process for activities or projects aligned with the ACT’s prevention of violence against women and children strategy 2011-17.

There is a lot we are doing in the ACT. As I mentioned yesterday, there is a lot that we can be pleased with. Programs like the family violence intervention program have been nationally recognised as a joined-up, across government response to the issues of family violence as they emerge in our justice system. But there is still much work to be done. I hope that the discussions with the Domestic Violence Prevention Council will be a productive part of that ongoing journey as we continue as a community to tackle this very difficult and traumatic matter that is affecting far too many people in our community. I commend the motion and the amendments to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.32): Rather than lament the fact that we are discussing the issue of domestic and family violence twice in two days, I must say I am pleased we are discussing it again because it is worthy of such significant attention. Of course, I am also sad that we need to, and that has been very much reflected in the debate both yesterday and today.

If there is one issue on which the members in this place are united, it is this issue of violence against women. We are united in our concern and horror at the repeated stories of domestic and family violence that we witness in our society, and we are united in our concern that women continue to be subject to physical and sexual violence, with one in three women being subject to violence in their lifetime, one in six women experiencing sexual or physical violence from a current or former partner, and with almost half the women experiencing violence by an ex-partner saying children had seen or heard the violence. The estimates are that that is around 13,000 children in the ACT.

In a 2011 report prepared for the Office of Women, domestic violence was identified as including physical abuse—that is, direct assaults on the body, the use of weapons, assault of children, locking the victim out of the house or sleep and food deprivation. There is also sexual abuse—that is, any form of pressured or unwanted sex or sexual degradation, coercive sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and making the victim perform sexual acts unwillingly and criticising or using degrading insults.

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