Message from the Chair
Dear WWDACT Members and Colleagues,
On 4 April I represented WWDACT at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC). The focus of the meeting was to examine ways in which children and young people might be better supported when there is violence in their lives. The impact of Domestic and Family Violence (DPV) is now recognised to be far-reaching and include physiological changes that occur in the womb, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that persists into adulthood. Failure to address these traumas contributes to the intergenerational effects of DFV.
The Meeting aimed to get “better understanding of key issues affecting children and young people who have experienced or witnessed domestic and family violence including sexual violence; share knowledge about what works to enhance their safety and security; identify opportunities to improve the ACT’s strategies for prevention and responses, and assist the DVPC to provide coherent, evidence-based advice to the Government on future action priorities”.
It was good to have an opportunity to talk about children’s heightened desire to protect a parent with disabilities who is experiencing violence. There needs to be recognition of this effect. It also needs to be understood that women with disabilities are often also the primary carers of children with disabilities (and most times not with the same diagnosis). All directorates, and especially the Justice and Community Safety Directorate need good understanding that children and adults with disabilities experience a high incidence of violence outside the home, and that this adds to the degree of trauma when violence is also perpetrated in a domestic setting.
A summary report of the meeting will be included in a future e-Bulletin.