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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 792 ..

Sadly, women with disability experience domestic violence in situations similar to all women; that is, they are assaulted by someone who is known to them and it often occurs in private, in their place of residence or in the home of a friend. And women with disability or women who have children with disability face compounding barriers to escaping domestic violence. Women with disability may be in situations where other people exercise control and power over their lives.

Last year the government supported the establishment of a crisis services scheme for women with disability. This scheme has funding through the Domestic Violence Prevention Council and was established through a partnership by the ACT Disability and Community Services Commissioner, Women with Disabilities ACT, the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the Victims of Crime Commissioner. This scheme ensures that women with disability or women with children with disability escaping domestic violence and sexual assault can access temporary, safe accommodation with daily personal care or support services.

The ACT has exceptional advocates for people with disability experiencing domestic violence. This year’s Canberra Citizen of the Year, Sue Salthouse, works tirelessly to bring about positive change for people with disability and to raise awareness about violence experienced by women with disabilities. Her work was acknowledged in the ACT plan to eliminate violence against women and their children and the national plan to reduce violence against women and their children.

We as an Assembly and as a community must come together to say enough is enough. This is not an issue that affects someone else; it is in our community, in our neighbourhoods and streets and in the homes of our friends, families and work colleagues. Again I quote Rosie Batty:

The myths of family violence are that it happens in poor neighbourhoods with people who are not as well educated or have drug and alcohol issues or mental health issues, it happens to other people, it doesn’t happen here and they certainly never expect a tragic death to happen in their neighbourhood … it always happens somewhere else. But where does it happen?

Sadly, it happens in our community. It happens in our neighbourhood. And we, as one, should say enough is enough. I hope that we in this place can work together and simply put an end to violence that has no place in our community.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality) (10.59): It is not a happy occasion to be here talking about domestic violence, but, as Mr Rattenbury has said, it is a good thing that we are all talking about this issue in a very public way. It is clearly something that our community is also very concerned about and wants to do more about.

I want to start by providing some information to the chamber about the women’s information service. As part of a new service model women can now access a continuum of care model through the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, which is

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