Page 3408 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

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Actions that can be taken under this key priority range from organisations and directorates becoming White Ribbon accredited to including domestic violence as a category in grants programs, such as recently seen in the multicultural grants program. An essential action under this priority is ensuring that every front-line worker across the government is trained and confident and able to identify early warning signs that a woman may be living with violence and to take appropriate action.

The second priority is to understand the diverse experiences of violence. We must all commit to improving our understanding of domestic, family and sexual assault. Diversity must be central to the planning and delivery of these effective services. The plan requires all directorates across the government to respond to the different needs of women from a range of cultural and social backgrounds.

Thirdly, as the evidence and research are consistently showing, we must support innovative services and joined-up service systems. The advice from our experts is that women are falling through the gaps. To address this, we are undertaking a gap analysis project that will help us see where our service system can be improved.

Another critical priority is ensuring that across all our responses, perpetrators are held accountable for their violence and offered opportunities to change their behaviour. The ACT has been working with our state and territory counterparts and the commonwealth government to develop national standards for perpetrator intervention programs. These standards will bind perpetrator programs to demonstrate that they are based on an understanding of the power imbalances that underpin domestic violence.

Our fifth and final priority area is to continue to build the evidence base to support good and best practice in the area of domestic violence. One way we can do this is through the financial contributions to Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. The government has also committed to develop a national violence data framework in the ACT and we will also revise the ACT criminal justice statistical profile to include a domestic violence and family violence dataset.

These are the five key areas to ensure that our work across government is consistent in all its directions and focuses on where change is most needed and where it can be most effective.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what is the ACT government doing to support joined up service systems as recommended in the second implementation plan?

MS BERRY: As I briefly touched on earlier, there is a commitment for the Community Services Directorate to oversee a gap analysis of the service system related to domestic violence. The literature review for this project will ensure that our work is based on evidence and good practice and the project as a whole will identify where and how we can improve and build a joined up, integrated service response for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

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