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  • The Northern Territory Government will invest on a new violence program

    Author: AAP

Working with men who were perpetrators of domestic violence to prevent such relationships occurring will be part of funding for new programs in the NT.

The Northern Territory Government will invest $22 million tackling domestic violence over three years including working with perpetrators as it faces rates at least triple the rest of the country.

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The money will be invested in domestic violence prevention, perpetrator intervention programs, and safety and recovery services for victims.

Katherine Women's Crisis Centre executive officer Jo Gamble said programs that involved working with men who were perpetrators were new.

"That's why prevention and intervention is really great, there needs to be a focus looking at attitudes, how we see the drivers and working on those is really important," she told reporters.

"I think it's a national problem, we all need to work on that."

Rates of domestic, family and sexual violence in the NT were three times higher than any other Australian jurisdiction, with more than 60 reported incidents to police every day, Territory Families Minister Dale Wakefield.

"We will be focusing our efforts in making sure that we are not only intervening early when someone is in a domestic and family violence relationship, but making sure we are preventing those relationships in the first place," Ms Wakefield told reporters.

"Show young people what a strong, healthy relationship looks like ... an equal relationship between both parties."

There has been a national focus on the NT in the last year, following the rape of a two-year-old girl in the outback town of Tennant Creek, which prompted the Children's Commissioner Colleen Gwynne to investigate and criticise government workers for not preventing it.

Domestic violence was estimated to cost the federal budget $3 billion a year and the NT's own health budget was significantly affected by the issue, Ms Wakefield said.

Poverty in remote and indigenous NT communities contributed to what was a problem around the world, she said.

The new programs would include the first-ever sexual violence prevention and response strategy, including screening tools, practice development and professional development such as additional training, she said.

The money is on top of the $25 million annual budget for domestic, family and sexual violence services.


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