Page 1634 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 12 May 2015

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encouraged governments and the community sector to re-examine their efforts to combat domestic violence action and mitigate its aftermath.

Domestic and family violence not only violates women’s and children’s right to safety but impacts on their health, their sense of self, their ability to work and their ability to participate in the community. These aspects are compounded for women with disabilities, who are the single largest cohort of women to experience interpersonal violence. As the commissioner notes in her report:

Domestic violence and sexual assault thrive in situations of inequity … where people are vulnerable and where they are dependent on others.

Women with a disability face personal violence and its impact on a twofold level. We know that violence against women and girls with disabilities is not just a subset of gender-based violence. Gender-based and disability-based violence interact with each other to magnify the impacts. It is therefore imperative that women with a disability who are experiencing domestic violence have easy access to appropriate crisis support services.

The report by the commissioner outlines a crisis service scheme that will provide women with disabilities who are experiencing domestic violence access to appropriate responsive support. The scheme will help women to be safe after domestic violence or sexual assault, whether they choose to remain in their own home, seek shelter with family or friends or require emergency accommodation.

This is a critical addition to the range of crisis responses already in place in the ACT to support women and children who are experiencing domestic violence. We are supporting this scheme because it is absolutely the right and proper thing to do. It is also consistent with our obligations under both the 2010-22 national plan to reduce violence against women and their children and the ACT prevention of violence against women and children strategy 2011-2017. Both the ACT strategy and the national plan have recognised that we must all do more to ensure that service responses for women with a disability who experience domestic violence are readily available, accessible and appropriate.

I have no doubt that you will all, like me, welcome this scheme. I thank the commissioner and all those who worked with her to develop it.


Ms Burch presented the following papers:

Subordinate legislation (including explanatory statements unless otherwise stated)

Legislation Act, pursuant to section 64—

Court Procedures Act—Court Procedures Amendment Rules 2015 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2015-12 (LR, 28 April 2015).

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