Premier's Priority to Reduce Domestic Violence Reoffending

What is the Premier’s Priority?

The Premier’s Priority for reducing domestic violence reoffending aims to decrease the number of domestic violence reoffenders by 25 percent by 2023. The priority was first established by the Premier in 2015 and was extended in 2019.

Based on current figures, achieving a 25 per cent reduction in domestic violence reoffenders will mean approximately 670 fewer reoffenders by 2023.

Domestic and family violence (DFV) is a complex social problem. Our approach to reduce domestic and family violence reoffending protects and supports victims. It also holds offenders to account by addressing the attitudes and behaviours that  drive the use of DFV.

Reducing domestic violence reoffending is just one of the ways that we are addressing DFV in NSW. Find out more in the Other DFV initiatives section.

What is reoffending?

Reoffending is when a person is charged with a DFV assault and is charged with a second DFV assault within 12 months. Second DFV offences are also likely to happen soon after the initial abuse. Therefore, it is critical that we focus on changing behaviours and hold DFV offenders to account.

What are we doing to meet the priority?

The Reducing Domestic Violence Reoffending Program is a comprehensive, multi-agency program that sets out how we are working towards the priority. It focuses on changing DFV offending behaviour and holding DFV offenders to account.

The program is made up of individual interventions that concentrate on working with DFV offenders. Evidence suggests that working with offenders can improve victim safety and protect our community from the serious harm caused by DFV reoffending.

Some of the interventions include:

  • Mens Behaviour Change Programs – supporting offenders to recognise their violent behaviour and to develop strategies to stop using violence.
  • ENGAGE – engaging offenders early through voluntary intervention. This program aims to address a gap in early intervention options for DFV perpetrators. It is available to persons with a DFV offence or an ADVO, or referred by non-court stakeholders where DFV is an issue. It involves participants attending a free six hour workshop delivered by NGOs registered to deliver MBCPs; and being offered referrals to support services and longer term Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCP).
  • DV Electronic Monitoring – monitoring DV offenders via GPS, to make sure they are not in proximity of the victim-survivor. Where appropriate, a matched GPS device is also available to the victim-survivor and can be used on a voluntary basis.
  • What’s Your Plan – increasing compliance with Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders among Aboriginal defendants. Defendants who attend the program meet with an Aboriginal Community & Client Support Officer to help them understand their ADVO conditions. Together, they develop a strategy to help them comply with their ADVO, address any obstacles they are facing and learn how to take positive steps to change their behaviour.
  • EQUIPS – working with medium to high risk offenders to complete a self-management plan to reduce their offending behaviour. Practitioners work with offenders using therapeutic programs, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

How are we tracking?

The degree of challenge involved with reducing domestic violence reoffending is very high; a comparable reduction of 25% has yet to be reported in any other jurisdiction.

A reduction in reoffending was observed for two years following the baseline of 1814 reoffenders in 2015. However, recent data has shown an increase to 2030 offenders. The trajectory of the priority has been influenced by increased and more proactive policing of DFV, which has increased the proportion of domestic assaults that result in a legal action and the volume of reoffenders.

We have implemented interventions, at scale, across the state and have undertaken evaluations to build the evidence base on domestic violence reoffending. We are working to identify further opportunities to increase our efforts in reducing domestic violence reoffending. 

Last updated:

14 Dec 2022

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