A rigorous, in-depth conversation is needed with men in the community, particularly young men who model their attitudes and behaviour on their fathers, in order to understand and address the root causes of violence against women and children.
The chief executive officer of the ACT's Domestic Violence Crisis Service, Mirjana Wilson, said that this was one of the key challenges ahead for the organisation as she steps down from the demanding role after seven years.
"We need to call it out and name it openly, and make it a priority to identify those men who use violence," she said.
"But equally we need to better understand why they do it."
Seeking a career change from education 15 years ago, Ms Wilson joined the non-government, not-for-profit support service firstly as a front-line counsellor and quickly rose up the ranks.
During her time as chief executive she has transitioned the organisation from a reactive crisis service into more of a "holistic" provider.
"I got a bit sick of mopping up the damage," she said.
"I thought what else can we do here if we just work in the pointy crisis end all the time and just respond to people who are in immediate crisis?
"We still need to do that and we do it very well, but what about the people who use violence?
"So we've expanded into that area, as well as others such as providing long term therapeutic support for children that have witnessed violence in their families."
The service supports 4800 families a year in Canberra.
"The organisation is in what would I consider a really good place; it's solid, it has an incredible reputation, it's trusted, works collaboratively with our government and non-government partners and we've engaged the corporate world in the conversation," she said.
She said she had made a conscious decision to leave while she was still "loving the job" but feeling the tiring effects of a challenging role.
"I'm going to have a little bit of break [and then] take what I've learned from this role and apply it in other areas."
The chair of the board, Judy Putt, said the organisation was indebted to Ms Wilson's "commitment, courage and leadership".