Canberra MLA, Bec Cody reveals her story about being a DV survivor

Canberra MLA, Bec Cody reveals her story about being a domestic violence survivor in this ABC news article.

Changes to the Safer Families Grants Program allow easier access to grants of up to $2,000 for people who have experienced domestic and family violence.

The ACT Government’s Safer Families Grants are a critical component of the government’s Safer Families package announced in 2016.  These grants are available to assist people who have experienced, or are experiencing, domestic and family violence to rebuild their lives, with a total of $409,000 in funding committed over four years in the 2018-19 budget. Previously the grant was linked to the Housing ACT Rental Bonds Loan Scheme and designed to assist with the costs of moving, buying furniture and white goods, and paying utilities and rent.

These Grants have undergone an operational review to ensure they were getting to the right people, at the right time. Under the new arrangement for the Safer Families Assistance program, a person no longer has to apply for a rental bond loan to be eligible, and the range of assistance that a person can apply for has expanded to include legal costs, pet care, mortgage and rental payments and other costs associated with establishing or sustaining a family home.

For more information see

Access to restorative justice expanded to victims of family violence and sexual offences

Minister for Justice, Shane Rattenbury announced that victims of family violence and sexual offences will now have access to the restorative justice process, following the commencement of phase three of the voluntary Restorative Justice Scheme. This will allow both victims and those responsible for offending the option to participate in a facilitated and supported conferencing process.

Read the media release here.

ACT’s unique approach to Family Violence Orders

When there are allegations of family violence in the ACT, all couples must attempt mediation before a court will grant a permanent family violence order. The ACT Magistrates Court says that 95 per cent of family violence matters in the ACT are settled and only five per cent go before a magistrate for hearing. So how does this system work and why is it so successful?

Read more

ACT Violence Prevention Awards 2017

The ACT Violence Prevention Awards, which recognise exemplary work being done in the ACT community, were announced at a special celebration on 27 November. Congratulations to all the winners including DVPC members John Hinchey, Robyn Martin (Beryl Women) and Mirjana Wilson (DVCS)!

The ACT Community Sector Award:
Beryl Women Inc
Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug Association ACT

The Education Award:
Highly Commended: PCYC

The Workplace and Business Award:
Assistance Beyond Crisis
John Hinchey
The Media and Communications Award:
Juliet Moody

ACT 2nd implementation plan for domestic and family violence

The territory’s latest domestic and family violence response plan was launched on 17 August by Attorney-General Simon Corbell and Minister for Women Yvette Berry. It is the government’s second implementation plan to support its anti-domestic violence strategy and was designed after consultation with experts and the community.

ACT government responds to new Canberra domestic violence report with a call for increased awareness

Creating increased awareness of domestic and family violence in the Canberra community will help change attitudes and reduce risk from the issue, the ACT government has said. Responding to a new report from the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, 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.

ACT domestic violence workers trained to better respond to technological abuse

On 8 August Women’s Minister Yvette Berry announced that frontline domestic violence workers in the ACT will be trained to protect women whose violent ex-partners have used technology to stalk, intimidate and harass them. The ACT government will provide $75,000 to the Women’s Services Network for a three-day course in November to help staff prevent technological abuse. More than 100 workers who take part in the training will also learn how to collect technological information that could be used as evidence against perpetrators in court.

Domestic Violence Orders on their own can make violence worse

ACT Victims of Crime Commissioner John Hinchey has warned some victims of violence may be placing themselves in danger if they rely solely on a court order for their protection.