March to cut do­mes­tic vi­o­lence gag

North West Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Sophia Con­stan­tine

The Hed­land com­mu­nity will come to­gether this month to raise aware­ness and end the si­lence sur­round­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

The White Rib­bon event, to be hosted at the South Hed­land Town Square on Novem­ber 23, is Aus­tralia’s cam­paign to pre­vent men’s vi­o­lence against women.

South Hed­land Senior Sergeant Al­lan Jane said there were be­tween 40 and 60 fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents re­ported in the Pil­bara each week.

Last year from Jan­uary 1 to Oc­to­ber 30, there were 957 re­ported fam­ily vi­o­lence in­ci­dents in South Hed­land alone. This year, for the same pe­riod, there have been 857 in­ci­dents.

Sen. Sgt Jane said de­spite sta­tis­tics rep­re­sent­ing a de­cline in in­ci­dents year-on-year, po­lice sus­pected that about five times the re­ported do­mes­tic vi­o­lence that oc­curs goes un­re­ported.

He said there were a va­ri­ety of rea­sons why peo­ple de­clined to re­port is­sues of fam­ily vi­o­lence to po­lice.

“Those is­sues can be shame-re­lated, they can be em­bar­rass­ment, and they can have a va­ri­ety of other rea­sons that are fam­ily-as­so­ci­ated,” he said.

“Most peo­ple have it in their minds that fam­ily is be­hind closed doors . . . but fam­ily vi­o­lence cov­ers a great deal more than that.”

Sen. Sgt Jane said po­lice had an obli­ga­tion to in­ter­vene and take pos­i­tive ac­tion if an act of fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence was ob­served.

“Po­lice of­fi­cers will take pos­i­tive in­ter­ven­tion and record the in­ci­dent and de­ter­mine whether a mat­ter should pro­ceed to trial.”

White Rib­bon Aus­tralia sta­tis­tics re­vealed one in three women have ex­pe­ri­ence phys­i­cal or sex­ual vi­o­lence per­pe­trated by some­one known to them.

Data also in­di­cated the rate of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is higher in ru­ral and re­gional ar­eas.

Money raised at the Port Hed­land White Rib­bon March will be do­nated to White Rib­bon Aus­tralia.

For more de­tails, visit www. whi­terib­bon.org.au/events/whi­terib­bon-march-and-com­mu­ni­ty­break­fast.

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