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Strengthen the Defendant Health Liaison Service to provide early intervention to offenders

Responsible government

  • Tasmania

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 18 Improve access to and embed trauma-informed support for perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence to prevent reoffending and promote rehabilitation and treatment.

What are we doing?

The Defendant Health Liaison Service (DHLS) is a service for people who have been involved in a family violence incident and have been issued with a Police Family Violence Order or a Family Violence Order (FVO). It offers comprehensive assessments of perpetrators to determine their individual health and welfare needs, as well as their suitability and motivation for change, to reduce the risk of a perpetrator reoffending. The DHLS works in partnership with Safe at Home, Tasmania’s integrated criminal justice response, to manage the ongoing risk and safety of victims. This action continues to support an additional DHLS Officer in the North of Tasmania in response to increased demand.

What have we achieved so far?

Safe Homes, Families, Communities commenced implementation on 1 July 2019. Additional funding for the Defendant Health Liaison Service is an ongoing initiative that commenced under the previous action plan, Safe Homes, Safe Families: Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015-2020.

The Northern DHLS Officer continues to provide support to people who have been involved in a family violence incident.

In 2019-20, 308 new clients accessed the Defendant Health Liaison Service statewide and 1,018 client contacts were made (through face to face, email and/or phone).

What is next?

Ongoing delivery of the DHLS across the State, including the North.

What difference will we make?

The Tasmanian Government is committed to holding perpetrators to account and helping them to change their violent behaviours; and ensuring the service system is responsive, integrated and innovative.

Strengthening the DHLS to provide early intervention to offenders allows for timely and appropriate responses to men who use violent and controlling behaviour, which are a key component of an integrated family violence system.

Through this initiative, early intervention is provided to offenders to assist them to change their behaviour in efforts to reduce recidivism.

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