Domestic violence can stem from various places and prevails in different stages. The RMIT Centre for Innovative Justice report, Opportunities for early intervention: bringing perpetrators of family violence into view, has been lodged with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s department.
Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, launched the report on March 19.
It lists a range of recommendations highlighting ways the justice system can interrupt the cycle of family violence to make perpetrators more visible.
“The community is finally coming to terms with the scale of family violence and its impact on women and children but we have yet to turn our full attention to those actually wielding violence and control,” Adjunct Professor Hulls said.
“Until we intervene at the source of the problem, the cycle of this violence will simply roll on.”
Some recommendations from the report include:
- Flash incarceration if intervention orders are broken
- Family brought before the same judge
- Family violence training for magistrates
- Men’s behaviour change programs properly funded
- National conference to work out best practice
The report calls for jurisdictions to support a dedicated Perpetrator Interventions conference to highlight existing initiatives and best practice that both State and Federal Governments can adopt immediately.
Importantly, it also highlights ways the justice system – from police, to courts and corrections – can connect perpetrators with treatment for alcohol abuse or mental health issues that need to be addressed to help them deal with their violence. Read more here.
So in summary, what does this report mean, or aim to achieve?
- It highlights the justice system and connects perpetrators to the right path they need to take to deal with their issues – mental health, drug and alcohol abuse etc.
- Family Violence Strategies for early intervention
- Men’s Behaviour Programs as a fully funded sector
- Informing courts and justice system to identify opportunities and connections of family violence to stop the cycle
In theory with a more transparent and accountable system, we as a nation will be at a place where can move away from these horrifying statistics of one woman a week being killed by her partner. With the right support, security and programs we hope to move forward, or at least be in a position to make a start.
“Victoria Legal Aid welcomes a new report which recognises the
pivotal role of legal services in breaking the cycle of family violence.
The report recognises the valuable role lawyers play in making sure
perpetrators understand their behaviour is unlawful… referring them
to services such as behavioural change, mental health or addiction
– Bevan Warner, Managing Director, Victoria Legal Aid
The report also outlines the transmission of violence through generations to follow, and the urgent need to deal with this with a more sophisticated response.
The report places us all in a position to make a start. This is a whole of approach undertaking; from primary prevention, early intervention and response.
“[Family violence] is an entrenched epidemic that we’ve lived with since time began, so we’ve got a long way to go. But I do believe the tide is turned. It’s no longer a subject that only occurs behind closed doors”
– Rosie Batty after receiving her Australian of the Year award on January 25, 2015
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, call the National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line, 1800-RESPECT (1800 737 732). In an emergency, call 000.
The next event on this topic, the Ending Family Violence Masterclass series, will offer hands-on sessions on best practice and innovation for better outcomes. Book your place by May 27th to save $700 on ticket prices – the agenda for both locations can be viewed here:
Photo via RMITNewsroom