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Barr: We must do more on family violence

By Michael Reid - 20 May 2016 10

family violence

The ACT government and the community must do more to prevent domestic violence, chief minister Andrew Barr said on Friday.

His comments were in response to the release of three reports on the impact of family violence on the community and how the system responds to it.

The reports are:

  • Report of the inquiry: review into the system level responses to family violence in the ACT by Laurie Glanfield
  • Review of domestic and family violence deaths in the ACT by the Domestic Violence Prevention Council
  • Domestic violence service system gap analysis project final report by the Community Services Directorate.

The reports were welcomed by ACT victims of crime commissioner John Hinchey, who said their recommendations were “pulling us in the right direction we need to go”.

Hold perpetrators to account

“We need to respond to domestic violence in a completely different way to other forms of crime,” he said.

“Education, a broadening of the response beyond the criminal justice system and a focus on families – I think these are the critical components.

“We also need to hold the perpetrators to account better because they are the people primarily responsible for the problem we have and I don’t think the focus has been strong enough on that.”

In a joint statement Barr and attorney-general Simon Corbell said the reports made it clear the Canberra community can and must do more to ensure families are safe in their homes.

The ACT government welcomed the recommendations contained within the reports, which would contribute towards “a comprehensive whole-of-government family violence package” in the 2016-17 budget.

The government was committed to improving services to ensure warning signs were identified early to prevent family violence.

Family violence was a national problem that demanded a local response, Barr added.

United response

Mr Barr said the ACT government had made significant investments to address family violence and there was now a clear direction for local change as a result of these reports.

“We have supported the National Campaign on Violence Against Women and Children and have strengthened laws to better protect vulnerable domestic violence victims.

“Today we hope the community will be more aware of the local impact of this pervasive national issue and the need for a united response.

“Family violence is community problem and we must work in partnership to address the issue.”

Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the government would release a formal response to these reports in the next few weeks.

He said many aspects of the system to protect women and children worked well but elements were often “not joined up” and government and nongovernment agencies needed to address these weaknesses.

Sharing information

“These reports are detailed and raise complex issues so it is appropriate for the ACT government to consider these reports together, rather than each in isolation, so that we can have a holistic response to the issues that they raise,” Corbell said.

“The reports all examine critical aspects of the ACT government’s family violence service system and the best approach for change to meet the needs of victims and their families while holding perpetrators to account.

“A common theme is a need for greater information sharing and a more collaborative response to family violence.

“We must keep Canberra families safe, it is our community responsibility. The ACT government will continue to work partnership with the community to help bring about change for those experiencing family violence and ensure the right services are available.”

The reports are available online at www.cmd.act.gov.au/functions/publications

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10 Responses to
Barr: We must do more on family violence
wildturkeycanoe 8:11 pm 23 May 16

Wayne_k said :

I once witnessed something very bizarre involving a domestic violence incident.
The police were called to a domestic dispute after it was reported that a husband was hitting his wife.
When they arrived they promptly arrested the husband at which stage the wife, who had clearly been beaten up, demanded the police release him.
The police ignored her and tried to take him away. The wife then viciously attacked one of the police officers with a large frying pan.
Can anyone explain that one?

This reads like the script of those Cops shows from the U.S. Wife gets beat up, calls 911, cops arrive and try to arrest the guy but the wife and half the neighborhood gets in the way and stops the police. I do not understand it at all. It is often the case that the victim feels insecure without the violent partner, even though they are bashed black and blue by them. 24 hours later they are forgiven by pleading that it won’t happen again, the cycle repeats. It isn’t a very pleasant or easy thing to approach. At least awareness is being promoted, but in the end the only ones who are going to stop it happening are the victims, who will continue to be slaves to it unless they report it to the authorities. The risk of losing custody of the children, or not being able to protect them if something goes wrong can also prevent them from seeking help.

HenryBG 6:05 pm 23 May 16

John Moulis said :

The statistics of reported abuse show that the majority of events are caused by men attacking women –

That’s interesting – I think you are talking about a subset of domestic violence statistics instead of the whole (now why would somebody do that I wonder…) – the majority of perpetrators of DV are women, and the majority of victims are children – of either sex.

dungfungus 5:31 pm 23 May 16

I once witnessed something very bizarre involving a domestic violence incident.
The police were called to a domestic dispute after it was reported that a husband was hitting his wife.
When they arrived they promptly arrested the husband at which stage the wife, who had clearly been beaten up, demanded the police release him.
The police ignored her and tried to take him away. The wife then viciously attacked one of the police officers with a large frying pan.
Can anyone explain that one?

madelini 3:19 pm 23 May 16

gooterz said :

The model is wrong,
It assume that every case there is a one victim and one perpetrator.

It couldn’t be that both parties are doing something wrong?

How are we going to hold female perpetrators to account?

The statistics of reported abuse show that the majority of events are caused by men attacking women – many studies show that upwards of 70% of domestic assaults are perpetrated by current or former male partners, or male family members. Nearly 75% of attacks on men were also perpetrated by other men. This is not to say that the minority crimes are less heinous. On the contrary, they seem to be under reported and that is dangerous; people are dying. More men need to report domestic violence perpetrated against them by their domestic partners, including women.

However, that does not mean that women do not need to be protected. If the statistics are showing that more than one woman a week dies in Australia each week at the hands of a male known intimately to her (either romantically or genetically), something needs to be done. Saying “How are we going to hold female perpetrators to account?” does not mean that we do nothing about the male perpetrators now.

Clearly, there is a problem with violence in Australia, especially in the domestic sphere. Something needs to be done about the widely reported problem (ie, male violence against women) so that we can understand more about other crimes committed in peoples’ homes.

HenryBG 11:07 am 23 May 16

HenryBG said :

Laurel said :

Mordd said :

How about the government do simple things like shut down Facebook pages such as the “Blokes Advice” site, which actually advocates violence against women. The Facebook company won’t do anything about it, so if the government can’t shut a social media site down, how exactly are they expected to tackle the real life problems?

You’d like the ACT government to go on a Facebook spree of attacks?
Sometimes I wonder how much taxes people pay how much they want to pay?

Do you know how much is being spent preventing terrorism and offenses against the criminal code Act 1995 which prohibits “Urging Violence against Groups”?

Fighting terrorism is easy.

Fighting a global corporation would be a much tougher proposition.

gooterz 10:53 am 23 May 16

HenryBG said :

Laurel said :

Mordd said :

How about the government do simple things like shut down Facebook pages such as the “Blokes Advice” site, which actually advocates violence against women. The Facebook company won’t do anything about it, so if the government can’t shut a social media site down, how exactly are they expected to tackle the real life problems?

You’d like the ACT government to go on a Facebook spree of attacks?
Sometimes I wonder how much taxes people pay how much they want to pay?

Do you know how much is being spent preventing terrorism and offenses against the criminal code Act 1995 which prohibits “Urging Violence against Groups”? Unfortunately by groups it only means those belonging to a race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or political opinion. Being female apparently doesn’t put you into a group, thus even illegal immigrants get more protection from our government than our own Australian female residents!
This campaign against violence is a waste of money if they just run TV ads and aren’t going to police the simple things that can be actioned. Stopping young males from visiting sites that treat women as something to be backhanded would be a straight forward thing to do. If we can shut down terrorist training videos, what about wife bashing websites?

But a local council doesn’t fight international terrorism.
Can you imagine if each one had their own NSA.

Women belong to the same group. Its called everyone and it includes men.

wildturkeycanoe 5:37 am 23 May 16

Laurel said :

Mordd said :

How about the government do simple things like shut down Facebook pages such as the “Blokes Advice” site, which actually advocates violence against women. The Facebook company won’t do anything about it, so if the government can’t shut a social media site down, how exactly are they expected to tackle the real life problems?

You’d like the ACT government to go on a Facebook spree of attacks?
Sometimes I wonder how much taxes people pay how much they want to pay?

Do you know how much is being spent preventing terrorism and offenses against the criminal code Act 1995 which prohibits “Urging Violence against Groups”? Unfortunately by groups it only means those belonging to a race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or political opinion. Being female apparently doesn’t put you into a group, thus even illegal immigrants get more protection from our government than our own Australian female residents!
This campaign against violence is a waste of money if they just run TV ads and aren’t going to police the simple things that can be actioned. Stopping young males from visiting sites that treat women as something to be backhanded would be a straight forward thing to do. If we can shut down terrorist training videos, what about wife bashing websites?

gooterz 9:16 pm 22 May 16

Mordd said :

How about the government do simple things like shut down Facebook pages such as the “Blokes Advice” site, which actually advocates violence against women. The Facebook company won’t do anything about it, so if the government can’t shut a social media site down, how exactly are they expected to tackle the real life problems?

You’d like the ACT government to go on a Facebook spree of attacks?
Sometimes I wonder how much taxes people pay how much they want to pay?

wildturkeycanoe 6:22 pm 22 May 16

How about the government do simple things like shut down Facebook pages such as the “Blokes Advice” site, which actually advocates violence against women. The Facebook company won’t do anything about it, so if the government can’t shut a social media site down, how exactly are they expected to tackle the real life problems?

gooterz 10:12 pm 20 May 16

The model is wrong,
It assume that every case there is a one victim and one perpetrator.

It couldn’t be that both parties are doing something wrong?

How are we going to hold female perpetrators to account?

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