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Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The in­tro­duc­tion of fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence leave for pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ees has been wel­comed by a Pil­bara com­mu­nity cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive who says he would like to see the pol­icy rolled out across a wide range of work­places.

Last week the State Govern­ment announced a 10-day leave en­ti­tle­ment from work for pub­lic sec­tor staff ex­pe­ri­enc­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, to give them the op­por­tu­nity to seek help from other agen­cies.

Nin­tirri Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive James Jarvis said he wel­comed the pol­icy for recog­nis­ing fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence hap­pened in all parts of the com­mu­nity, say­ing it would pro­vide a good way to en­cour­age con­ver­sa­tions about the is­sue.

“These sorts of pol­icy po­si­tions by the State Govern­ment, they’re ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary be­cause do­mes­tic vi­o­lence knows no bound­aries,” he said.

“For the State Govern­ment to say in our pub­lic ser­vice com­mu­nity of 100,000 peo­ple there are some who will be sub­ject to this . . . it shows it’s uni­ver­sal, and will give peo­ple time to at­tend to fam­ily cir­cum­stances.” The news comes as do­mes­tic vi­o­lence re­ports in the Pil­bara are up about 45 per cent on the same time last year, with sta­tis­tics hav­ing risen at all po­lice sub­dis­trict sta­tions ex­cept Roe­bourne.

Pre­ven­tion of Fam­ily and Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Min­is­ter Si­mone McGurk said this was a first step to­wards mak­ing work­places more flex­i­ble for vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and she hoped it would set an ex­am­ple to other em­ploy­ers.

“We hope other em­ploy­ers also con­sider the im­pact of fam­ily and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence on their work­force, and think about what they can do to sup­port the safety of vic­tims as well as the pro­duc­tiv­ity of their busi­ness,” she said.

Mr Jarvis said the next step was for the Govern­ment to look at how it could ex­pand the pol­icy to other work­places so it be­came “com­pre­hen­sive across the board”.

“If an em­ployer could give do­mes­tic vi­o­lence leave . . . you’d be able to be more con­sid­ered, take time to the side, get the coun­selling and sup­port you need, and if you need to go to the po­lice sta­tion to get a VRO you can,” he said. “It helps peo­ple get ac­cess to sup­port they need in a more timely way.”

Paid leave and coun­selling would be of­fered with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence leave.

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