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Family Violence Death Review Report makes critical points

Media release

25 February 2016

Family Violence Death Review Report released today makes a number of critical points

Shine completely agrees with all findings in this report. Many of the points made in this report are delivered as key messages within Shine training workshops for health and other professionals, including:

• there is a need to stop asking victims to keep themselves safe from abusive partners- practitioners need to proactively make sure victims are safe

• there must be more focus on the person using violence, in addition to the victim –changing the behaviours of those using violence is the most effective way to prevent family violence

• violence must be recognised as being not just physical – it is also carried out through control, coercion, and intimidation. These behaviours trap victims.

Shine Client Services Director, Jill Proudfoot says, “Victims of domestic abuse will usually seek help first from those they know best and trust the most, starting with friends and family, then perhaps their doctor or midwife, or someone else in the community they trust. We need more people in the community to understand domestic abuse and be able to provide safe, effective, and longer term support for victims so they get the help they need and are not forced to stay in, or return to, an abusive relationship.”

The FVDRC report also talks about the crossover between intimate partner abuse and child abuse. This crossover is why Shine has focused on building strong relationships with Child Youth and Family, including having several Advocates who are based at CYF site offices and working in partnership with CYF social workers. Ms Proudfoot says, “It is absolutely critical that, where there is a domestic abuse situation involving children, the risk to the children and the risk to the adult victim must be looked at and addressed together.”

Finally, Shine is also very encouraged by the current cross-government focus on family violence with the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence, led by Ministers Adams and Tolley. This Group has launched an ambitious cross-government work programme.

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