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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 June 2018) . . Page.. 1971 ..

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.18): I thank Minister Berry for bringing to the Assembly this update on the work of the family safety hub. Of course, I also appreciate the efforts made by the coordinator-general to present members of the Assembly with updates about how her work has been progressing. It is important work and it affects us all. As the statistics the minister has provided indicate, all of us are connected or affected in some way. It is highly likely that many of us know people who are or have been affected by family violence given its pervasive nature.

The underlying cause of such violence is, of course, the exertion of power and control by a person over another one and the belief that that person has the right to exert that power and control over the other one. It is often linked to a sense of ownership and entitlement. It is important to remember this when trying to understand the links with alcohol. Whilst these links clearly exist, a person’s decision to use violence as a means to exert power and control is the underlying problem, regardless of whether they are inebriated. In other words it is not the inebriation that causes the violence; it simply makes it easier for a person to choose to use violence.

I am very pleased that Minister Berry has pointed out the health burden of this societal problem, as the links to increased rates of depression and anxiety, disability, and premature death are evident. The health system obviously has a role to play. This has often been overlooked in the past. If we are to address the disproportionate health burden that domestic and family violence results in, we have to direct some preventive health measures into this space. I am very pleased the government has considered the voices of people with lived experience in their co-design process. All too often we forget to include the people whose lives have been or will be affected most by an issue such as this.

Equally, the voice of service providers is a valuable one that can provide insights and views informed by their day-to-day interactions with victims and survivors and/or perpetrators. The value of their specialisation in the field cannot be overestimated.

I am intrigued that the insights include that having a gendered system excludes some people and communities. Whilst I can see that this may be the case, it also points to the fact that services, whether or not they are gender specific, need to ensure that services and support are open to all, including gender diverse individuals. For example, a women’s service should be open to working with a person who has transitioned their gender from male to female, and they need to do that in a way that is respectful not only to that individual but to other services users, and likewise the other way around. A person should always be asked how they want to be identified and how they want the services to provide their support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

ACT Health accreditation update

Ministerial statement

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and

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