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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Royal commission into domestic violence hands down findings – as it happened

Royal commission into domestic violence hands down findings – as it happened Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says all 227 recommendations will be implemented: ‘This is not about saving money, this is about saving lives’ Updated 2h ago Deputy Commissioner Tony Nicholson, Commissioner Marcia Neave, and Deputy Commissioner Patricia Faulkner at the opening of the royal commission into Family Violence last year. Deputy Commissioner Tony Nicholson, Commissioner Marcia Neave, and Deputy Commissioner Patricia Faulkner at the opening of the royal commission into family violence last year. Photograph: David Crosling/AAP Helen Davidson, and Melissa Davey in Melbourne Wednesday 30 March 2016 16.44 AEDT Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Shares 265 Save for later Key events Show 2h ago A summary of findings from the royal commission into family violence and responses 3h ago Family violence report has clear federal implications, stakeholders say. 6h ago "The human cost is unacceptable" 7h ago 'We will get this right' - Andrews 7h ago Royal commission makes 227 recommendations Show 2h ago 16:44 A summary of findings from the royal commission into family violence and responses Thanks for following our live coverage of the landmark report from Australia’s first royal commission into family violence. Melissa Davey signing off from Melbourne. To recap: Australia’s first royal commission into family violence has made a comprehensive 227 recommendations in its landmark report to the Victorian parliament, making it the most extensive document ever handed down on how to how to prevent and respond to the issue. It concludes 13 months of work lead by Justice Marcia Neave. There is an emphasis on breaking down a siloed system to increase transparency and cooperation between sectors, as well numerous recommendations to hold the performance of those sectors to account. Transparency and accountability of the system, including police responses, are highlighted. Removing the burden from victims in getting help and placing accountability on the shoulders of perpetrators is also a strong focus of the report. There is also a role for the state government in lobbying the federal government for change, the report says. The right to perpetrators to experience privacy through the court system should not trump the right of victims to be safe, the premier, Daniel Andrews, has said. For this reason, a secure central information point led by Victoria police and which stores databases from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice has been recommended so perpetrators can be tracked. Andrews has promised to implement every recommendation, saying it would cost the government “hundreds of millions”. A more solid figure will be revealed in the budget. No more excuses, Andrews says - violence against women will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be held to account. The report is expected to be followed by the state, territory and federal governments as well as by governments around the world grappling with family violence. A huge range of stakeholders have responded to the report, many of which we have covered in this blog below. The National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service can be reached at 1800 737 732. The Men’s Referral Service provides anonymous and confidential telephone counselling, information and referrals to men to help them take action to stop using violent and controlling behaviour: 1300 766 491. Or call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au If you’d like to keep the conversation going, you can follow me either on Twitter or on Facebook. In the meantime, I’ve filed a further news piece on the commission’s report. You can read the full piece here. Thanks for joining us. Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 2h ago 16:27 Our Watch, the national organisation dedicated to the primary prevention of violence against women and their children, has welcomed the royal commission’s report and commended its focus on prevention. Chief Executive Officer, Mary Barry, said the commission’s recommendation that the Victorian government adopt a prevention strategy, with dedicated funding and performance measures, was good news. We are pleased that the Commission has reinforced the importance of primary prevention, and of stopping violence against women and their children before it starts by addressing the social norms and institutional practices that support and give rise to it. Importantly the Commission has also recognised that prevention programs are most effective when they form part of a coordinated approach. There’s no doubt that we will never prevent violence against women through disparate projects with short-term funding. To reduce and ultimately eliminate violence against women, we need a coherent, broadly supported strategy that can guide both policy and practice. What the Royal Commission has recommended today is most definitely an important step in the right direction.” Our Watch has also welcomed the Royal Commission’s recommendation that the Victorian Government mandate the staged rollout of respectful relationships education into every government school in Victoria from Prep to Year 12. If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. Facebook Twitter Google plus 2h ago 16:20 Seniors Rights Victoria has sent through its response to the report: “Not only does the chapter on older people comprehensively and sensitively address the many issues involved in elder abuse – the whole report contains recommendations that will benefit older people,” says Seniors Rights Victoria’s manager, Jenny Blakey, who says: The report is a triumph for recognition of diversity in family violence. We are delighted by the underlying principles that recognise the particular experiences and needs of older people. Picking up on Seniors Rights Victoria’s submission to the inquiry, the report has specifically recommended more information on elder abuse for older people, better training of aged care service providers, the trialling of a Victoria Police elder abuse response team and more funding for Seniors Rights Victoria to provide expert training to the broader family violence sector.” Elder abuse is vastly under-reported, but the World Health Organisation estimates that up to 10% of older people worldwide are affected. It is defined as any act which causes harm to an older person by someone they know and trust. Like other forms of family violence, elder abuse is about one person having control over another. Older Victorians experiencing elder abuse can get help by calling Seniors Rights Victoria on 1300 368 821 Monday to Friday. See www.seniorsrights.org.au for more info. Facebook Twitter Google plus 3h ago 15:56 Family violence report has clear federal implications, stakeholders say. More from Dr Chris Atmore, senior policy adviser with the Federation of Community Legal Centres. Atmore gave evidence to the commission and was also present throughout the Luke Batty inquest. She is an expert in the field, having worked on sexual assault and family violence issues and volunteered and worked in the community legal sector for over 12 years. Atmore says: Today’s report has clear federal implications, and highlights the deep gulf between the Federal Government’s claimed commitment to ending family violence, and its actions in underfunding and cutting services in direct contradiction to a 2014 Productivity Commission report to which it has failed to respond. Speaking at the Victorian Premier’s press conference this morning, family violence campaigner Rosie Batty said that ‘Federal Government cuts to community legal centres have a significant impact for victims of family violence every single day’. We agree. Without free legal help with intervention orders, women and children are at far greater risk of abuse, injury and death – Federal Government cuts are placing barriers between women and children and their pathways to safety. She said the report makes welcome recommendations to strengthen the courts and the intervention order process, to reform the law, to include family violence experts in the development of solutions, and to take systemic measures that would build consideration of family violence into decisions about state government policies and initiatives. She said the report would also lead to a deeper focus on learning from family violence homicides to prevent future deaths. She called for the premier’s message that not responding to family violence had a much higher cost to governments than taking action to be taken to COAG. Facebook Twitter Google plus 3h ago 15:44 Here’s an overview of just some of the media reporting of the commission’s landmark report so far. Miki Perkins has written a piece for The Age highlighting some of the key recommendations, including the focus on abusers and the need to protect children. You can read her piece here. Meanwhile, this piece from the Gay News Network by Rachel Cook quotes Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Co-Convenor, Sean Mulcahy, who says: “It is encouraging that the Royal Commission has acknowledged that LGBTI people experiencing family violence have not been adequately supported. In this climate, it is not surprising that a half to two thirds of people in LGBTI relationships do not access support when experiencing family violence.” And Stephanie Anderson writes for the ABC that “Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has vowed to overhaul a “broken” family violence support system after a report called for sweeping reforms to prevent and respond to the problem”. Read her full piece here. Updated at 3.44pm AEDT Facebook Twitter Google plus 3h ago 15:35 Kate Fitz-Gibbon, a Senior Lecturer in Criminology with Monash University, has written a piece for the Conversation about the royal commission’s key recommendations. You can read the full piece here. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt: The commission recommended the statewide establishment of 17 safety hubs. These would be designed as local entry points to specialist family violence services, perpetrator programs, and additional support services. People will be able to approach a hub directly or be referred by another service. Hubs will conduct risk assessment and provide people with direct access to a range of relevant support services. Recognising the value of specialist responses to family violence, the commission recommended the government ensure that, subject to exceptional circumstances, within five years a specialist family violence court hear all family violence matters. This on its own is a game-changer for legal responses to family violence. Other court-based recommendations included greater resources for legal services and improvement of court facilities and infrastructure to better ensure victim safety when attending court. The report provides clear recognition of the inability of intervention orders to keep victims safe. The commission recommended a range of long-awaited strategies to improve effectiveness of the serving, monitoring and overseeing of these orders. Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 3h ago 15:33 There has been a huge reaction to the commission’s findings on social media, with #FamilyViolence and #RCFV [Royal Commission into Family Violence] trending on Twitter for several hours. Here are some of the reactions from Twitter: Facebook Twitter Google plus 3h ago 15:24 Thanks to Helen Davidson for updating this live blog with all of the reaction to the royal commission’s landmark report throughout the day. Melissa Davey back with you, after attending the lock-up this morning at parliament house and press conferences from stakeholders in the family violence sector. We’ll have a story up on the key responses shortly. In the meantime, it’s fair to say the family violence sector has responded overwhelmingly positively to the report, which spans seven volumes, some 1,900 pages and includes 227 recommendations. Those recommendations are broken down into sections, which include [and yes I’m going to name them all]: risk management and assessment, information sharing, specialist family violence services, children and young people, sexual assault, pathways to services, police, court-based responses, offences and sentencing, perpetrators, the role of the health system, family violence and diversity, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, older people, people from culturally diverse communities, lesbian, gay , bisexual, transgender and intersex communities, people with disabilities, male victims, women in prison, male victims, women working in the sex industry, prevention, the workplace, sustainable governance data, research and evaluation, investment, and industry planning. So as you can see, it’s an extensive report and it will take some time for those in the sector and the Victorian government [and journalists!] to fully comprehend and comprehensively respond to the findings. It is so extensive that it’s also impossible to detail every sector and the recommendations made for each. However, you can access the full report here. If you have any questions about the report I’ll do my best to answer them: ask me either on Twitter or on Facebook. Updated at 3.27pm AEDT Facebook Twitter Google plus 3h ago 15:07 The Victorian Greens said today was “a long awaited step on the path” to reducing the harm caused by family violence. “To its credit, the government has committed to implementing all 227 recommendations,” said acting Victorian Greens leader Samantha Dunn. “The Commission attached timelines to many of the recommendations, so there is no excuse for delay. Some recommendations are well understood and could have been implemented before now, such as keeping victims and perpetrators physically separated when they go to court. We’ve known about problems like this for a long time and cannot afford to delay acting any longer.” Facebook Twitter Google plus 4h ago 14:42 Launch Housing, an anti-homelessness organisation has described the findings as a “game-changer”. “Our frontline staff are daily faced with the untenable choice - do they let a family sleep in their car, return to a violent situation at home or accommodate them in a dodgy rooming house,” said chief executive Tony Keenan. “The Royal Commission has explicitly stated that this is not appropriate and cannot continue and recommends funding to enable appropriate crisis accommodation for those who need it.” In November 2015, the Victorian government announced the allocation of $12m over four years to fund Family Violence Flexible Support Packages to assist people escaping violent situations. Packages of up to $7000 were to pay for things such as rental or relocation costs, furnishings, clothing and books for children, and security measures to improve safety at home. The program, announced during the commission’s run, is not yet up and running, but today’s report recommended its expansion. Keenan said the recommendations recognised the private rental market as the quickest way to get people rehoused. “We welcome the focus of the Royal Commission on keeping women and kids safely housed in their own home,” he said. “That is always the best option. In those circumstances where we can’t do this, we know that getting women and kids rehoused safely as quickly as possible in their own community will cause the least harm.” ===== Dr Chris Atmore from the Federation of Community Legal Centres said the commission and the government’s willingness not to beat around the bush about what is not working was refreshing. She said the courts needed to work better, and she was glad to see beefed up support for the court system. The recognition of family violence specialisation and skills and the need to ensure women get consistency in responses in their journey through the system was really important. It shouldn’t depend on which police officer they see or magistrate they see as to whether they will get helped. Also, to see a recommendation for independent oversight of the system is a huge relief. The commission really got it that those who have worked in the sector have seen things constantly change and policies change and an overarching body to independently oversee the sector shows they appreciate how important it is to have a dispassionate body analysing and assessing what works and what doesn’t.” Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 5h ago 13:58 With longer reports and analysis on the way from Melissa Davey and Gay Alcorn, let’s take stock of this morning’s events. The royal commission into family violence tabled its report to the Victorian parliament, and made an unprecedented 227 recommendations. It called for a complete overhaul of the courts system, information sharing between services and authorities, and statewide service hubs. It also focused on removing multiple and unnecessary burdens on victims who seek help, and increasing accountability of perpetrators. Premier Daniel Andrews reiterated his government’s promise to implement every single recommendation, but noted that the changes needed will come “from governments over time” and “we need a focus beyond the life of any one government”. He promised immediate action on two areas: a blitz on housing, and a boost in funding. Reforms in the culture and attitude which is at the heart of violence against women and children would take “some time”, he said. Andrews met with prime minister Turnbull this morning and intends to discuss the findings and the role of the federal government in addressing them at a COAG dinner tomorrow night. Implementing all the recommendations would cost the government “many hundreds of millions of dollars” but Andrews said it was about “saving lives” not money, and flagged big changes in the upcoming state budget. Legal groups, service providers, and anti-violence campaigners have welcomed the report and the positive government reaction. Rosie Batty called on state and territory leaders and voters to ensure family violence was on the agenda for this year’s federal election. Facebook Twitter Google plus 5h ago 13:47 As stakeholders and government agencies work on their responses to the report, here is a quick analysis from our Melbourne editor, Gay Alcorn. The first reaction to the commission’s report was that it was overwhelming - it’s seven volumes, plus a summary volume. It makes 227 recommendations and nobody yet has had the opportunity to absorb it all. And it’s so comprehensive - it covers everything from police, courts, domestic violence services and funding, housing, integrating services, training and mandatory respectful relationships programs in schools. It deals with big issues and small. For instance, it wants a an independent statutory body to oversee the implementation of the report and to hold the government to account and it also recommends that the government funds to ensure victims of family violence have counselling “for as long as they need”. It sounds prosaic, but the cost of these recommendations will be in the many hundreds of millions. The report acknowledges it, saying that it has “ substantial investment implications for government” and that for too long, the sector has been seriously underfunded. It points out too, that at the moment, the government has no real idea about how much it spends on family violence, and that needs to change. The commissioners go so far as to say that the new funds needed “may require investigating options for redirecting existing revenue sources towards family violence expenditure” and even “identifying new revenue sources” to afford it all. “In our view the community would support a substantial increase in funding to reduce family violence, provide better protection to victims and hold perpetrators accountable,” commissioner Marcia Neave told at a media conference. Premier Daniel Andrews was asked about whether he would consider a new tax to help fund the recommendations. He wouldn’t go that far, but he repeated his promise that the government would implement all 227 recommendations and said his officers were going through each one and working out how much they would cost the state. “This will be many hundreds of millions of dollars,” Andrews said. Yet he insisted it was an “investment” in a safer Victoria, and pointed out that the cost of domestic violence now - in lives lost, in injuries, in police resources to name just a few - was unacceptable. “This is not about saving money, it is about saving lives,” he said. “Family violence is costing us $3.1b a year (and) it’s 40% of police work.” Facebook Twitter Google plus 6h ago 13:39 It apparently weighs almost five kilos. Facebook Twitter Google plus 6h ago 13:33 Federal Labor has congratulated the royal commission, those who contributed to it, premier Daniel Andrews, and minister for Prevention for Family Violence Fiona Richardson. “Eliminating family and domestic violence requires a long term strategic approach by all levels of government and the Australian community,” said Terri Butler, the shadow parliamentary secretary for child safety and prevention of family violence. “Federal Labor stands ready, with already released policies, and a willingness to work with state and local governments, stakeholders, and the community, to eliminate violence against women and their children once and for all,” she said. Butler noted Labor’s existing commitments, including a pledge to make domestic and family violence leave “a universal workplace right” by providing for five days paid leave in the National Employment Standards. Facebook Twitter Google plus 6h ago 13:22 Melissa Davey Melissa Davey Annette Gillespie is the CEO of Safe Steps family violence response centre said the safety hubs - the 17 one-stop centres the commission has recommended be established throughout the state for victims to get help from police, counsellors, housing services and other providers - was a significant recommendation. “The safety and support hubs I think will give greater support to women and children in their local area. Also the commitment to fund frontline services and to have a blitz on emergency accommodation for women and their children to ensure there is efficient accommodation is a big shift in thinking . The history of keeping women safe has involved removing them from their homes and taking them to secret locations. These recommendations allow women to stay home and stay safe.” She said the recommendation calling for an independent government body to oversee the commission’s recommendations would be significant in holding the government to account as well as the organisations responding to family violence, such as police. That accountability was something Gillespie said she never thought she would see several years ago. Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 6h ago 13:15 Jacqui Watt, chief executive of the No To Violence / Men’s Referral Service, has specifically noted one recommendation. “The Royal Commission recommends that within 12 months men’s behaviour change programs are funded to meet the demand from men who are ordered to attend and also from those who volunteer,” Watt told Guardian Australia. “This is a first and represents a significant shift from how Victoria has approached its family violence prevention response to date. I’m pleased to see this recommendation from the Royal Commission and look forward to No To Violence / Men’s Referral Service assisting the government in implementing the expansion of men’s behaviour change programs across the state this year.” Royal Commission recommendation 92 Photograph: Royal Commission into Family Violence Facebook Twitter Google plus 6h ago 13:05 LGBTI groups have welcomed the report. “It is encouraging that the Royal Commission has acknowledged that LGBTI people experiencing family violence have not been adequately supported. In this climate, it is not surprising that a half to two thirds of people in LGBTI relationships do not access support when experiencing family violence,” said Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Co-Convenor Sean Mulcahy. “These recommendations are critical to ensuring that LGBTI people can access family violence services who understand their particular needs and without a fear of being turned away. The recommendations also highlight the need for inclusive community education and awareness campaigns that encourage LGBTI people experiencing family violence to seek help.” Facebook Twitter Google plus 6h ago 12:59 Antoinette Braybrook, CEO of the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service in Victoria, says it was encouraging to see the experiences of Indigenous women were front and centre in the report. “Too often Aboriginal women are silenced and invisible to policy makers,” she told reporters. “It was also encouraging to see that the royal commission is recommending that the government invest into Aboriginal community controlled organisations, those organisations that focus on women and children as well as legal services for victims. Also there were other recommendations around child protection [we are pleased with].” Braybrook said 80% of Aboriginal women in prison were mothers, and 90% of those had experienced family violence. “An investment into culturally safe, community controlled services will ensure all Aboriginal women have access to those services and safety.” Melissa Davey Melissa Davey Fiona McCormack from Domestic Violence Victoria is a bit disappointed there wasn’t more emphasis on a dedicated long term funding scheme, contributed to by both the state and federal governments. There was some emphasis on it she says, but there could have been more. === Among the 227 recommendations by the royal commission are several new approaches which it says are needed to address family violence. Below is a summary, set out in the report. Support and Safety Hubs in local communities throughout Victoria, to make it easier for victims to find help and gain access to a greater range of services new laws to ensure that privacy considerations do not trump victims’ safety—with a Central Information Point to funnel information about perpetrators to the Hubs an immediate funding boost to services that support victims and families, additional resources for Aboriginal community initiatives and a dedicated funding stream for preventing family violence a ‘blitz’ to rehouse women and children forced to leave their homes, supported by expanded individual funding packages an expanded investigative capacity for police and mobile technology for front-line police, including a trial of body-worn cameras more specialist family violence courts that can deal with criminal, civil and family law matters at the same time stronger perpetrator programs and increased monitoring and oversight by agencies family violence training for all key workforces—including in hospitals and schools investment in future generations through expanded respectful relationships education in schools an independent Family Violence Agency to hold government to account Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 7h ago 12:22 "The human cost is unacceptable" Daniel Andrews has delivered a response to the findings via video message. “Last year 37 Victorians were murdered by the people they trusted the most, and we failed every single one of them,” says Andrews. “One thing’s for certain, more of the same policies will only mean more of the same tragedies.” Facebook Twitter Google plus 7h ago 12:17 The full report from the royal commission into family violence is now online. Facebook Twitter Google plus 7h ago 12:12 Rosie Batty, anti-violence campaigner, former Australian of the Year, and the mother of 11-year-old Luke, who’s death at the hands of his father was among the incidents which prompted this inquiry, says the report is “a huge turning point in our society”. “It would have been great that it happened decades ago,” she says. “It’s sad that it happened through tragedy.” Batty says it’s “critical” that states keep pressure on the federal government over funding for anti-violence programs, and that the issue should be on the federal election agenda. Facebook Twitter Google plus 7h ago 12:05 Reactions to the findings are beginning to come in from stakeholders and spokespeople. The Victorian Council of Social Service described the report as “a landmark moment and a turning point in addressing the scourge of family violence in Victoria”. The organisation welcomed the focus on aspects like financial security, which it described as one of many “critical areas that are often overlooked”. “The Royal Commission’s report provides a framework for long-term, whole-of-government, transformational change across the family violence system,” said Emma King, VCOSS CEO. “Some of the recommendations will require significant new funding. We look forward to seeing this begin to roll out in the state government’s April budget. “Challenges will inevitably arise with such seismic change to the way the Victorian community, the service system and government work together to tackle the scourge of family violence. But it is incumbent on us all to make the most of what is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to achieve real change.” Facebook Twitter Google plus 7h ago 12:01 Read Davey’s full report on the findings of the royal commission here. Overhaul 'broken system' of dealing with domestic violence, says royal commission Victorian premier Daniel Andrews pledges to introduce all 227 proposals, including support for victims to return to homes and get through court cases • Follow all the reaction to the commission’s recommendations here Read more Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 7h ago 11:59 Andrews says he spoke with prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull this morning, and will discuss the findings tomorrow night. Andrews and other state and territory leaders are having a dinner with Turnbull ahead of Friday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting. He says he’s not interested in fighting with the federal government and is confident Turnbull will hear him out on the federal government’s role. Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:48 Melissa Davey Melissa Davey Andrews is asked how he will fund the extensive overhaul of various systems. He doesn’t have a cost yet - his officials were working through the document still, which he only received yesterday, to figure it out. Some of the recommendations recommend funding and changes within months, others within years. However Andrews said implementing all the recommendations would cost the government “many hundreds of millions of dollars”. He is not deterred by this. “The budget will be delivered in just a couple of weeks time. Obviously here are some things that can’t wait. We will move quickly on those things that simply can not wait. That will come at a significant cost. This is not about saving money. This is about saving lives. Family violence is costing us at least $3.1bn dollars every single year. How do you put a price on a life lost?” Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:40 In the first clue about the extent of the work required, Andrews says the changes needed will come “from governments over time” and “we need a focus beyond the life of any one government”. Updated at 11.40am AEDT Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:37 There is a lot of optimism about the changes which can come from this report. The recommendations are many and ambitious, and the Victorian government has pledged to implement them all. ================== We need to get much better at helping victims of family violence to recover financially and psychologically, Neave says. She recommends a significant expansion of counselling and support systems for victims, including calling on the federal government to provide a medicare number for family violence counselling. It’s important to note the recommendations are to the Victorian government and not the federal government, so the report recommends the Victorian government use its role in bodies like COAG to lobby the federal government for changes like this. “The whole report is premised on the need for a whole of community response,” she says. “We know now right across the community there is a willingness to take action and support victims. But there is also limited understanding about how to help.” That’s why the report was recommending comprehensive and consistent family violence training and risk assessment procedures be adopted for those working in courts, the police, health workers and other workers in the sector, as well as more accessible information for those in the community through websites and education, she says. Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 8h ago 11:25 More from Neave: “Although there are good things being done by many services... the overall response to family response needs to be transformed. The 227 recommendations work together as an overall package.” Below are some of the key areas, as noted by Neave. Safety hubs “We recommend the establishment of 17 support and safety hubs throughout Victoria, operating as local entry points to specialist family violence services, perp programs, and specialist services to support families and children.” “Some victims want the violence to stop but don’t want to separate from the person who caused violence. The hubs... will ensure perpetrators who seek help can find it.” Focus on perpetrators “We know the system needs to focus much more on the people who visit violence on their families. Victims should not be held resposnbile to manage their own or their children’s safety. “Privacy should not trump victims’ safety. So the commission recommends... the establishment of a central information point which will funnel information relevant to risk from police, courts, corrections and other services to the hubs to keep victims safe.” Police and courts We recommend police are equipped with mobile tech to relieve them from unnecessary paperwork” and body cameras. We recommend more specialist family violence courts so within five years all family violence victims will have their matters heard in a family violence court. We also propose stronger perpetrator programs, increased monitoring and oversight by agencies, upgrades to court security so victims don’t have to come into contact with perpetrators. Children “We know children and young people are the silent victims of family violence. In around a third of police family violence call outs, children are present.” Recommendations: Integrated family support and family violence services. Much more access to intensive therapeutic services, and expansion of services which work on repairing mother child bond. Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:17 Volume one of the report has set out the stories of people who gave evidence, Neave tells the press conference. She describes the story of one woman and her children who escaped her husband after years of physical, sexual and psychological abuse. “Susan believed she had sheltered her children from the violence, until one of her son’s teachers drew attention to the fact that one of her children wasn’t speaking at school.” “After she did leave she and her four children were homeless for much of the year.” They lived in a public park, with the car parked near the children’s school. She was offered accommodation but only for her and two children, so she rejected it, and ultimately found help through a chaplain. Her husband was later convicted and jailed. “While each story is unique and while individuals suffer family violence in different ways, her story has a resemblance to other stories we heard from victims,” says Neave. Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:13 — Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) March 30, 2016 "Too many women are dying. The #RCFV was our highest and most formal way to get the answers that we need" - Andrews. pic.twitter.com/ef4WgBirIA The press conference has begun. Andrews has introduced Commissioner Neave. The royal commission was “always designed as an acknowledgement that the system is broken,” he said. Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:10 'We will get this right' - Andrews Premier Andrews has release a statement ahead of his press conference. The Victorian Labor government has reiterated its pledge to implement every single recommendation from the report, and promised new laws, 17 statewide “safety hubs”, a boost to services and a “housing blitz” for women in crisis. “I refuse to look back in ten years’ time and admit we could have done more to safe innocent lives,” said Andrews. “We will get this right. “We will punish the perpetrators, listen to the survivors, and change the culture that allows family violence to happen in the first place. There can be no more excuses. Our work begins today to overhaul our broken family violence system from the bottom up.” Updated at 12.10pm AEDT Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:05 Royal commission makes 227 recommendations The findings from the royal commission have now been tabled to Victorian parliament. Melissa Davey and Gay Alcorn have spent the last few hours going over the report, which delivered an unprecedented 227 recommendations. From Davey: Australia’s first royal commission into family violence has made a comprehensive 227 recommendations in its landmark report to the Victorian parliament, making it the most extensive document ever handed down on how to how to prevent and respond to the issue. There is an emphasis on breaking down a siloed system to increase transparency and cooperation between sectors, as well numerous recommendations to hold the performance of those sectors to account. Removing the burden from victims in getting help and placing accountability on the shoulders of perpetrators is also a strong focus of the report. There is also a role for the state government in lobbying the federal government for change, the report says. We’ll bring you Davey’s full report shortly. Facebook Twitter Google plus Advertisement 8h ago 11:01 Melissa Davey Melissa Davey The handing down of the commission’s recommendations today is expected to lead to a flood of women seeking help for family violence situations, putting crisis lines and housing services under pressure. To pre-empt this, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews last week announced an immediate $10m in funding towards support services. This included $6m to meet an expected rapid rise in calls for help after the royal commission’s report is released, including to crisis accommodation, counselling, women’s health, behaviour change programs and services working with Aboriginal survivors. Andrews said funding was only the beginning of further funding announcements, expected to be made at his press conference later this morning once the commission’s findings have been made public. You can find a list of family violence support services here. Updated at 11.46am AEDT Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 11:00 Among the evidence heard by the commission, data from the Australian Institute of Criminology’s national homicide monitor revealed that in the decade to 2012, 1,088 of the 2,631 recorded homicides were “domestic”. This translated to an average of 115 victims of domestic homicide per year in Australia. Three-quarters of intimate partner homicides resulted in the death of a female. Children were the next most likely to be killed. Updated at 11.05am AEDT Facebook Twitter Google plus 8h ago 10:53 Melissa Davey Melissa Davey Melissa Davey spoke with a couple of the key family violence organisations in Victoria on Tuesday to get an idea of what they’ll be hoping to see when the commission’s list of recommendations are revealed today. As is to be expected, more secure and long-term funding was raised, as well as better integration of different sectors of the family violence system with each other. The chief executive officer of Domestic Violence Victoria, Fiona McCormack, who is also in the lock-up, said: We’re hoping for recommendations that support a more systematic approach to engaging with men who use violence. We’ve got a system that’s largely designed to provide support for women and children when they reach out, which is obviously critical, and obviously that needs to continue. But the cause of the violence is going under the radar and we’ve got to tilt the system so it is much more focused on the men who behave this way. We want to see the responsibility taken away from women to protect themselves and their children and to utilise opportunities to interrupt the violence and engage with men. We’ll be getting some reaction from McCormack once the lock-up is over. Updated at 11.06am AEDT Facebook Twitter Google plus 9h ago 10:48 Welcome to Guardian Australia’s live coverage of the findings from Australia’s first family violence royal commission. The recommendations from the 13-month inquiry are being tabled in Victoria’s parliament today. The family violence royal commission was announced by the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews shortly after his election in November 2014 and following a number of high-profile murders of women and their children. One of the most high-profile was the death of 11 year-old Luke Batty. Commissioner Marcia Neave was given wide-ranging terms of reference (pdf). Today’s report should include recommendations on best practise measures for the prevention of family violence, how to better support victims and hold perpetrators to account, the creation of systemic responses, and improvements in agency responses and reporting mechanisms. It heard evidence from more than 200 people and examined aspects of family violence including elder abuse, financial abuse, family violence among LGBTI people and in Indigenous communities, and the role of alcohol, mental illness and gender inequality. Guardian Australia’s Melbourne editor, Gay Alcorn, and journalist, Melissa Davey, entered a lock-up to read the recommendations at 9.30am. Once that is over and the report is tabled, they will bring you comprehensive coverage of its findings and a press conference with Andrews and Australia’s first minister for the prevention of family violence, Fiona Richardson. Andrews has previously committed to adopting every one of the reports recommendations, so all eyes will be on him to see how he will fund the recommendations and over what time frame. Stay with us. The National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service can be reached at 1800 737 732 The Men’s Referral Service provides anonymous and confidential telephone counselling, information and referrals to men to help them take action to stop using violent and controlling behaviour: 1300 766 491

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