A prominent domestic violence victims advocate has called for more programs to help offenders after a major report found perpetrator programs in the ACT were limited and had not been given priority.
Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT executive director Mirjana Wilson urged the ACT government to fund "real platforms for change" in this year's budget to help perpetrators, the majority of which were men, in this year's territory budget.
"Failing to provide appropriate programs available to all perpetrators of domestic and family violence is only putting more people at risk in the long term," she said.
Three major reports into the territory's response to family and domestic violence this month found the ACT government must overhaul fragmented and flawed family violence strategies if it was to better protect victims.
Ms Wilson, who is ACT Violence Prevention Woman of the Year, said the gap analysis report into the ACT's domestic violence service system found perpetrator programs and their effectiveness were not given priority in the ACT.
The report also raised concerns that there were limited programs which worked intensively with the whole family, and in particular the person who used violence, she said.
The report said: "It is clear that the current system in the ACT is fragmented, crisis driven, has limited responses for children experiencing domestic violence and is not currently holding perpetrators to account or providing adequate options and incentives to change their violent behaviour."
Ms Wilson said there was a lack of available options for early intervention, as well as ongoing and therapeutic support for men who used intimate partner violence, in Canberra.
She said those acts of violence included, but were not limited to, physical acts.
"The community is well aware of the physical aspect of domestic and family violence, but might be lacking understanding of all the other elements which include emotional, financial, psychological, property damage and technology amongst others.
"Because of this we are missing the early signs and opportunities to intervene before long term damage is caused to these families.
"I encourage the ACT government to appropriately resource the work to provide longer term therapeutic support to men who are at risk of using, or have already used, any element of intimate partner violence, regardless of whether there is already a criminal conviction."
Ms Wilson said the most beneficial way of handling domestic violence would be to allow a woman and her children to stay in their home, close to support networks, schools and familiar infrastructure, while the violent perpetrator was moved to a live-in therapeutic support program.
That would allow the perpetrator to maintain his employment in the ACT, maintain his own support network as he learned, developed and came to understand how he could better manage himself and his violent behaviours, she said.
The ACT government responded to the findings of the three reports by promising its biggest ever spend on family violence in this month's budget, while the opposition reaffirmed its offer of continued bi-partisanship.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr and his deputy Simon Corbell said the community could expect the "most comprehensive and significant territory government response to family violence in the history of self-government".
"It's a significant priority for the territory government going into the 2016 budget," Mr Barr said.
"We will be committing significant resources to address what is one of the most significant challenges that this community faces, and indeed, all Australian communities face."
Last year's ACT budget included $250,000 extra funding to be split between three key domestic and sexual violence crisis services to help meet a spike in demand.
One of those was the Canberra Men's Centre, now known as EveryMan Australia, to help provide support for men to work on controlling behaviours.