Page 3409 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

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Work on the gap analysis has commenced. It is anticipated that the outcome of this research will assist the government to identify the steps required to bridge the gap between our system as it currently exists and where people ideally want or need to be. The gap analysis will include looking at ways to improve information sharing between agencies, both government and non-government, and explore the potential use of a common risk assessment to enhance joined up service provision and improve our protection to women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

The ACT domestic violence death review being undertaken by the Women’s Centre for Health Matters will also be critical in informing the gap analysis. This work will support the full implementation of the national plan.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how is the ACT government improving its response to diverse experiences of violence?

MS BERRY: Understanding diversity in people experiencing domestic and family violence and sexual assault is crucial in providing appropriate supports to people who are in need. The second implementation plan recognises that there is a need to focus on and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in our community who are experiencing family violence and we will continue to consult with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body, as well as community leaders, about what is their greatest need and how we can effectively meet those needs.

The second implementation plan also explicitly acknowledges the need to focus on women with disabilities; women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; the lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and queer communities; and how we need to give additional consideration and understanding to the needs and experiences of those in these communities.

Governments at both state and federal levels have made a commitment to ensure that diversity is central to the planning and effective delivery of this program and to service provision in order to ensure that these groups are included in the mainstream service system.

This national cooperation has been reflected in the national response that was initiated after a string of heartbreaking and high-profile instances of violence. In the lunch recess, I took part in a COAG meeting of women’s safety ministers to consider the evidence base for the $30 million national education campaign that will target young people. The cooperation occurring at national levels makes me hopeful that we will, over the coming years, be able to respond to the full diversity of the experiences in our community.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how will the second implementation plan affect the lives of women experiencing or escaping domestic violence here in the ACT?

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