Elena Campbell, Centre for Innovative Justice
Legal responses to adolescent violence in the home – doing more harm than good?
The Centre for Innovative Justice’s PIPA Project examines the legal responses to adolescents using violence in the home across three Australian jurisdictions.
Conducted over two years across Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia, the PIPA Project’s research included focus groups with over 150 practitioners from a wide range of different service types, as well as detailed analysis of 385 legal and court files to unpack what currently occurs when families living with adolescents using violence in the home seek justice system help. This includes propelling children into contact with the law who may be victims of family violence themselves, or who may be living with significant disability. This in turn may discourage those experiencing violence from seeking much needed support.
The PIPA Project explores how the ‘one size fits all’ response of the legal system can fail to address risk and disperse or displace it instead. When this criminalises children who have themselves experienced violence, and who may not be able to understand or comply with the requirements of the legal response we may be making some families more vulnerable – and ultimately doing more harm than good.
You can read more about the launch of the PIPA report here.
Elena Campbell is a lawyer, speechwriter and former political staffer who has worked in legal and social policy for nearly 20 years. She is the Associate Director at the Centre for Innovative Justice, and has recently led the ground-breaking PIPA Project – Positive Interventions for Perpetrators of Adolescent violence in the home – which brings together the CIJ’s emphasis on addressing family violence with its focus on ensuring that the justice system functions as a positive intervention in people’s lives, rather than a one size fits all response.
Find out more about the Centre for Innovative Justice: https://cij.org.au/