The Domestic Violence Prevention Council works to raise public awareness of the issues involved with domestic violence. Following are the details of upcoming events and details about past activities.
The Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC) – the ACT Government’s peak advisory body on Domestic and Family Violence—will be convening an Extraordinary Meeting on 4 April 2018 which will bring together people with a lived experience of family and domestic violence and members from the community sector, the Legislative Assembly and key players from across government directorates such as Education, Justice and Community Safety, Health, the Human Rights Commission, and the Police, amongst others.
This Extraordinary Meeting follows an historic gathering in 2015 which led to the Safer Families package being developed, and a number of new initiatives and reform strategies underpinned by the $21 million Safer Families Levy, and will focus specifically on the needs of Canberra’s children and young people at the recommendation of the DVPC.
It is recognised that children and young people can be profoundly impacted by violence in the home even when the violence is not directed at them, and that children can be lost in the complex response to family and domestic violence. It is also acknowledged that long term trauma and impacts of violence are not widely understood by parents or the service system.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign that works to raise awareness about violence against women and the impact this violence causes to a woman’s well-being. The campaign runs from 25 November, the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women to 10 December, the International Human Rights Day. Both these days highlight that violence against women and children is an abuse of human rights.
The DVPC jointly with the Domestic Violence Crisis Service hosted a Lunch and Panel discussion on 24 November about How to promote the Global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign in Canberra and Beyond, and is showcasing local ACT initiatives as part of an awareness raising campaign on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/DVPCCanberra/
On 25th November the Domestic Violence Prevention Council hosted a seminar called Working with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence. It was held on White Ribbon Day when events are held across Australia to raise awareness of and educate about men’s violence against women, and to raise funds for the prevention work that White Ribbon does. They do great work in continuing to focus attention on men’s violence against women, and DVPC invited people to show their support for White Ribbon Day by attending the seminar.
The seminar was aimed at raising awareness of the many issues that shape, support and constrain people working with men who have been using violence with women, or who are at risk of using violence. Each panellist’s experience and perspective provided information and insight about the different contexts in which perpetrators find themselves, and explored the impact of those contexts on prospects for safety and healing for women and families, long term behaviour change for the men, and for better and quality of life outcomes – for the survivors of violence, and for the perpetrators.
The Domestic Violence Prevention Council recently undertook two consultations to inform our work, which closed on 31 January 2015. A wide range of organisations and individuals in the ACT contributed to them.
The Council sought views and ideas to inform it’s contribution about the content for the ACT’s 2nd Implementation Plan. The ACT is currently developing its 2nd Implementation Plan to support the ACT Prevention of Violence Against Women Strategy 2011-17. One of the Council’s strategic priorities is that ‘women experiencing violence receive consistent, effective responses from the criminal justice system, and that the system holds perpetrators to account’. Over time the ACT’s criminal justice system has been adapted to improve the response to family and domestic violence – in particular to treat it as a crime; hold the perpetrator accountable; protect the victim; and coordinate the criminal justice system’s response to the problem. The Domestic Violence Prevention Council sought views and ideas on what more could be done in terms of the Criminal justice system and how it operates beyond what has been done so far?
The Domestic Violence Prevention Council and Women’s centre for Health Matters jointly hosted the seminar on 13 October to coincide with Anti-Poverty week. The week was chosen for this seminar because we wanted to highlight that poverty can be an issue for women in the ACT. And in particular, domestic violence can create unique circumstances of financial hardship for women living in and leaving a violent relationship, as well as in the longer term. The seminar focused on strengthening local knowledge and understanding in the ACT about the links to poverty and hardship for women from living with and leaving domestic violence, including understanding what women experienced. The seminar also provided information about what financial supports and services are available for this group of women.