A signature NSW government program to reduce domestic violence rates is failing to protect women from further harm, a new report reveals, casting doubt over the Premier’s target of reducing reoffending by 25 per cent by 2021.
The Safer Pathway program, a key feature of state government’s 2014 domestic violence reforms, “has only had a limited effect on the incidence of domestic violence”, according to two reports released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).
It is the third government-led domestic violence initiative to be found ineffective by BOCSAR in recent months.
Under the Safer Pathway program, police are required to assess all victims who report domestic violence using a questionnaire known as the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool.
BOCSAR tracked more than 24,000 cases of domestic violence between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2016, and found that the questionnaire was a “very poor instrument for measuring the risk of repeat domestic violence victimisation, often performing little better than chance”.