Brett Wortman

Immediate jail recommended to help break DV cycle

IMMEDIATE jail for perpetrators who disregard court orders could help break the cycle of family violence.

That's one of the findings in a major report handed to Federal Attorney-General George Brandis today.

Anti-violence campaigner and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty backed RMIT's Opportunities for Early Intervention: Bringing Perpetrators of Family Violence into View white paper.

The recommendations include all states and territories backing a "perpetrator interventions" conference to highlight practices the country's governments could adopt immediately; and Australia-wide support and comprehensive funding for men's behaviour change programs.

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The report also reveals how police, courts and corrections services can get perpetrators into alcohol and mental health programs to help reduce their impacts.

Ms Batty said the report's recommendations could ease the burden on victims.

"These recommendations are about removing the burden from victims of family violence and placing it squarely on the system," said Ms Batty, whose son Luke was killed by his father.

"They point to opportunities for all governments to guarantee that the justice system interacts more effectively with perpetrators of family violence and ensures that they don't slip off the radar."

Anti-violence campaigner Rosie Batty.
Anti-violence campaigner Rosie Batty. Warren Lynam

RMIT Adjunct Professor Rob Hulls said turning the spotlight on perpetrators was vital in keeping women and children safe.

"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," Prof Hulls said.

"Until we intervene at the source of the problem, the cycle of this violence will simply roll on."

"Generally, the justice system offers a pretty blunt response by issuing an order or passing a sentence and sending a perpetrator away, rather than keeping him within reach.

"This report offers more nuanced and systemic scrutiny at all points along the spectrum of the justice system's contact with a violent or controlling man."

- APN NEWSDESK


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