Addressing domestic violence

MEETING: Human Services Minister MIchelle Lensink (left) meets with Centacare Domestic Violence and Homelessness Service Manager John Rademaker and Housing SA Regional Manager Irene Adair at the domestic violence roundable in Whyalla.
MEETING: Human Services Minister MIchelle Lensink (left) meets with Centacare Domestic Violence and Homelessness Service Manager John Rademaker and Housing SA Regional Manager Irene Adair at the domestic violence roundable in Whyalla.

More programs aimed at preventing a domestic violence perpetrator from re-offending are at the top of the to-do list for Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink after hosting a roundtable in Whyalla.

The meeting, which was held at Centacare Catholic Family SA last Thursday, saw Minister Lensink meet with a range of local service providers including Housing SA, Uniting Care Country, Disability SA and SAPOL to discuss domestic violence.

The roundtable followed the Marshall Liberal Government’s $11.9 million investment aimed at addressing the scourge of domestic violence in South Australia

Some of the measures put in place by the government include ensuring the domestic violence crisis line is available 24 hours a day, funding 40 new crisis beds in regional SA, and creating an app which helps victims get in touch with police.

Minister Lensink said the feedback from local organisations made it clear that more needs to be done regarding perpetrators of domestic violence.

“The focus has been very much on the women and children and ensuring they’re safe, as it should be,” she said.

“But this is also an opportunity to intervene with perpetrators. Sometimes the safest thing can be to provide them with somewhere to go so that they’re removed from that family.”

Perpetrators are often required to participate in a domestic violence program once they have been through the court system, but Minister Lensink says intervention is required far earlier in that process.

“Instead of the immediate response being about removing women and children from the family home, perhaps we need to upgrade the security and remove the perpetrator instead,” she said.

“I think that is the next part of the conversation.”

Overall Minister Lensink described the roundtable as a ‘great opportunity’ to hear feedback directly from local organisations and shape the government’s response to the issue of domestic violence.

“I think there will be a lot of modifications to what we do as a result of talking to these people,” she said.