National Summit on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children

Next week, the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) will host a National Summit on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children in Brisbane on 27 and 28 October 2016. Several members of the Council will be attending as part of a delegation from the ACT.   At the summit, delegates are participating in a series of roundtable discussions on several topics about reducing violence against women and children, including:

A dedicated website has been established to ensure that the wider community can also engage with the Summit. The website can be accessed at:

To participate in the online roundtable discussions, you can register HERE  and submit your views and ideas on each individual roundtable page.

“Help Stop Domestic Violence” Campaign

It doesn’t have to end here. FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. We can all help.

The ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Council has released a campaign which aims to create greater awareness in the ACT community about what domestic and family violence looks like, and who it affects, and to identify it as a community issue.

What can you do?


ACT Government Responds to Domestic Violence

The ACT Government have today released a response to family violence addressing the following reports:

Report of the Inquiry: Review into the system level responses to family violence in the ACT by Laurie Glanfield AM (April 2016;
Review of Domestic and Family Violence Deaths in the ACT by the Domestic Violence Prevention Council (May 2016); and
ACT Domestic Violence Service System Gap Analysis Project Final Report by the Community Services Directorate(May 2016).

The response can be viewed here: ACT Government Response to Family Violence

ACT Government releases three major reports into domestic and family violence

The ACT Government has released three reports on the impact of family violence on the ACT community and how our service system responds to this serious issue.

The reports are:

Report of the Inquiry: Review into the system level responses to family violence in the ACT by Laurie Glanfield AM

This Report of the Inquiry into the system level responses to family violence in the ACT outlines the nature of current responses to family violence and identifies opportunities for improvement to achieve better outcomes for ACT families.

Review of Domestic and Family Violence Deaths in the ACT by the Domestic Violence Prevention Council

This report presents the findings of a review of deaths that occurred as a result of domestic or family violence between 2000-2012 in the ACT. The review sought to provide a clearer picture of domestic and family violence in the ACT and provide advice to government to inform future decisions about violence prevention and detection mechanisms.

Domestic Violence Service System Gap Analysis Project Final Report by the Community Services Directorate

This report presents the findings of a gap analysis of the domestic violence service system in the ACT to look at current service delivery against best practice, with a focus on integration and collaboration.

The ACT Government is yet to respond to the three reports, but Chief Minister Andrew Barr promised a major package in next month’s budget.

1800RESPECT Support A Friend Campaign

1800RESPECT together with domestic violence advocates Rosie Batty and Geelong premiership player Jimmy Bartel, have launched a campaign to help Australians recognise the signs someone may be experiencing domestic violence and how best to support them.

The ‘Support a Friend’ campaign provides practical guidance to friends and family about warning signs to look out for and what they can do to safely support someone who has or is experiencing domestic violence including sexual assault.

The campaign features an informative video and infographic including a practical list of do’s and don’ts when supporting someone. You can watch the video below, and download the resources from the 1800RESPECT website.

Paint a positive future for our kids

Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers and Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand have committed to do everything within their power to prevent family violence, protect victims and hold perpetrators to account. This commitment is outlined in the Protecting Women and Children from Family Violence Leadership Statement.

Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence Report Released

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence released it’s report and recommendations on 30 March. The report canvasses the views heard by the Commission during its consultation processes and covers a broad range of topics including risk assessment, information sharing, service system pathways, police and court responses, perpetrator accountability, offences and sentencing, housing, financial security, recovery, the experience of children and young people and people from diverse communities, system governance and oversight, industry planning, primary prevention, and the role that the health system, faith communities and workplaces can play in addressing family violence. The report from the Commission makes 227 recommendations to address systemic issues. The Victorian Government has already agreed to adopt all of the recommendations.

You can read it at

Domestic violence: More women reaching out for help

While ACT Policing last week announced that call outs to reports of domestic violence in Canberra had dipped in the last financial year, the ACT’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) received almost 5,000 calls from women needing urgent assistance during November and December. This was a 34.5% increase across November and December compared with the same period in 2014, when 3,269 calls were received.

Across November and December, DVCS also conducted face-to-face crisis visits with 393 families to support them after domestic violence incidents, which was a 22% increase compared with the same period in 2014, an accommodated 24 women in a hotel, which was a 54 % increase on the previous year.

Over the full year of 2015 DVCS received 21,361 calls, compared to 16,270 in 2014 – a 23% increase.

DVCS Executive Director Mirjana Wilson said that the holiday period over Christmas and New Year was a time during which domestic violence occurred in a higher reported numbers of incidents, often due to the added financial stress and the extra time spent with family. Access issues – who has the kids and when – can also come to a head at this time.

Marcia Williams, Chair of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, said that the increased focus and messages about domestic violence by the ACT and Commonwealth governments throughout the year, as well as strong media coverage of the issue, had contributed to women deciding to get help.

The increase in demand over November and December compared to the previous year reinforces the need for more resources for front line domestic violence services to meet the demand, and to ensure services are available for the safety of women and children.

New Federal Funding Announced for the Women’s Legal Centre

The Women’s Legal Centre will receive $1.05 million over three years as part of the Australian Government’s recently announced $100 million package to respond to family and domestic violence on 16 October 2015. Executive Director of the Centre, Elena Rosenman said the Centre would use this funding to establish a new specialist domestic violence unit within the Centre.

“This funding will significantly increase our ability to assist women experiencing domestic violence in the Canberra community.”

“While women in crisis need specific assistance to protect their immediate safety, to ensure that safety is sustainable and long term, women need intensive, sustained and expert legal advice and representation throughout their legal processes, particularly in the Family Court. They also need support to access other essential services. This funding will allow the Centre to provide that support to women in the Canberra community who are most at risk.”

ACT Government Responds to DVPC Report on Domestic and Family Violence

On Tuesday 11 August the Attorney-General tabled the Government Response to the DVPC’s Report on Domestic and Family Violence, including Sexual Assault, in the ACT.

The Government agreed to all 33 recommendations from the report in some form. Attorney-General Simon Corbell and Minister for Women Yvette Berry said more needed to be done to limit the high social, health, and economic costs of domestic violence, including sexual assault, in Canberra.

You can read the response here.