It has taken decades of tireless effort by individual activists and groups to shift domestic violence out of the shadows.
With victims historically reluctant to report attacks for a range of reasons, including shame, a perception they are the ones at fault and the fear of further reprisal, there is still much to be done in terms of removing any perceived stigma.
This is why Justice Minister, Shane Rattenbury's, concern over reports women who have called on ACT Policing for assistance during a domestic violence incident have ended up facing charges themselves need to be taken very seriously.
Mr Rattenbury cited two cases where it is understood that after police were called they charged the women who made the complaints with assault.
He said that while he did not have all the facts this could be a cause for concern.
Such cases may result in "misleading future victims who may not have confidence to report such matters for fear of being charged themselves," he said.
If women are being charged for actions they say they committed in self defence it does send a contradictory and dangerous message at a time when they are being encouraged seek help like never before.
Few Canberrans would not be aware of the excellent work done over the last three years by the Tara Costigan Foundation.
Unfortunately domestic violence is not limited to assaults by men on women. One in 16 men have experienced physical and or sexual violence involving a partner; a much lower ratio than that for women but a significant statistic just the same.
It would be foolhardy, and potentially dangerous, for the authorities to approach each and every incident with the assumption the man is the aggressor.
As it stands, the unenviable task of determining who most likely did what to whom is usually left up to the attending police.
While Mr Rattenbury is right to seek assurances officers and prosecutors have an appropriate level of domestic violence training, it has to be recognised police are at times confronted by two fraught individuals both of whom are making contradictory claims about who did what.
There must be days when the officers are left wishing they had the wisdom of Solomon at their disposal.
That said, common sense would suggest the person who called the police, and who is the physically weaker of the two, would, on the balance of probabilities, be the one at greatest risk.
It should require a remarkable set of circumstances, backed up by some very solid evidence, for that person to end up on charges over actions they are alleging they took in their own defence.
There are times when small "j" judgement, not necessarily capital "J" justice should be the order of the day. Where there is some doubt about what occurred the police should stabilise the situation, separate the parties and, if warranted, revisit the question of who should be charged with what once emotions are calmer.
Domestic violence is a highly nuanced subject affecting millions of people. It is also one of the most complex challenges our society faces.
This is why we have to take the time and make the effort to ensure we get the responses right.