Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jenny Aitchison has condemned the Berejiklian Government’s failure to implement effective rehabilitation programs for domestic violence perpetrators.
A report released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has analysed the impact that the NSW Government’s DVEQUIPS program has had on the rate of re-offending committed by domestic violence perpetrators.
The report shows that just over one-third of those referred to DVEQUIPS actually participate in the program while less than a quarter of those referred to the program actually complete it.
Last year, Ms Aitchison conducted extensive community consultations, hearing that lack of funding certainty, and overwhelming demand for a small number of services was stopping many perpetrators from being able to access programs.
The report concluded that there was no difference in the likelihood of re-offending between referrals that start DVEQUIPS and referrals who do not commence the program.
This is yet another indicator that the NSW Government is failing to take its commitment to prevent domestic violence seriously. One of the 12 recently revised ‘Premier’s Priorities’ is to reduce the proportion of domestic violence perpetrators re-offending by 25% by 2021.
The NSW Government have already failed to reach their previous Premier’s priority to reduce domestic violence re-offending by 5 percent within 12 months, which then-Premier Mike Baird announced in 2015.
The Coalition has boasted of its focus on the perpetrators of domestic violence in the face of devastating funding cuts to refuges and other victim support services. This report shows that despite focusing on perpetrators, the Government has failed to achieve any significant outcomes in reducing re-offending.
The research released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research indicates that the programs the NSW Government is implementing to reach this target are not having the desired impact of reducing re-offending.
Ms Aitchison is calling on the Premier to explain what steps she is going to take to ensure that one of her 12 priorities is met and how her Government is going to respond to this research.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jenny Aitchison
“The Berejiklian Government failed to meet their target around recidivism last time, and now BOCSAR tells us their programs aren’t being accessed and aren’t effective for those who can access them. For a Government that boasts it is focusing on the perpetrator, this is an embarrassing result.
“We have known for some time that the Premier’s sole Domestic Violence priority was had not been met. Now her revised priority is not being met.
“This report confirms that this Government is not doing enough to stop perpetrators from re-offending”
“It is important that we rehabilitate those in our community who have committed domestic violence. This Government is failing to take the prevention of domestic violence seriously.”