02 March 2021
TRISH DOYLE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
CALLS TO SUSPEND DRUG TRIAL
NSW Labor has called on the Berejiklian Government to order the suspension of a controversial clinical trial for male domestic violence offenders, saying it is putting women at risk.
The ReInvest trial, which is assessing if an antidepressant drug can help domestic violence perpetrators manage their anger, has received $6.9 million in state government funding.
The program’s ethics, methodology and significant level of funding came under the spotlight at a NSW Budget Estimates inquiry today.
The Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Trish Doyle said the trial, being run by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, has not sought the views of partners of the offenders and has put their safety at risk.
She said there are disturbing reports from frontline domestic violence services of increased violence by trial participants.
“Why was partner safety considered unimportant and a risk assessment and safety plan not done for partners and their children?”
The Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Mark Speakman was questioned about the trial’s multi-million-dollar budget in light of the fact that around 90% of participants have dropped out.
“Why is the government investing almost $7 million into this program for a small number of men, when domestic violence support services are critically underfunded?” Ms Doyle asked.
“Considering the small sample size, it is clear this money could be better spent elsewhere.”
Ms Doyle said she is also concerned that success of the trial is determined by levels of re-offending when it is known that this is not a reliable measure of domestic violence, which is significantly under reported.
“Labor calls on the government to suspend this trial, which has no risk assessment and safety measures for women and children, and commit to an independent review.”
TUESDAY, 2 MARCH 2021