BY State Political Reporter Sarah Gerathy, staff.
A $60 million program to tackle domestic violence by focusing on perpetrators and reducing reoffending rates is being launched by the New South Wales Government.
The package includes funding to create Australia’s first dedicated police teams to target high risk domestic violence offenders and create behaviour management plans for domestic violence suspects.
Perpetrators will also have to go through mandated behaviour change programs.
Prevention of Domestic Violence Minister Pru Goward said while previous initiatives had focused on supporting victims, this package represents a new approach to the issue.
“We need to target perpetrators in a way that hasn’t been done before,” she said.
“This is about more than managing domestic violence, this is a serious determined effort to reduce the level of domestic violence. There will be a great deal more resources for police to target high-risk and dangerous offenders.
“This sends a very strong message to perpetrators. They know who they are, they know what they’re doing and now they know police will be targeting them.
“The mandating of behaviour change for offenders I think will also be a game changer for many distressed families.”
The NSW package comes less than a month after the Commonwealth Government announced it would spend $100 million combating domestic violence, including funding for tracking devices for perpetrators and technology to help victims.
Ms Goward said the NSW Government’s package would also include money to set up the promised Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme and a funding injection for emergency accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
The Government was heavily criticised last year when dozens of specialist women’s shelters where domestic violence victims took refuge were shut down or merged into generalist homelessness services under its Going Home, Staying Home policy.
But Ms Goward has defended the investment in women’s shelters to date.