Lift­ing the lid on youth vi­o­lence

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Su­sanne Reilly

BE­TWEEN 2009 and 2014, more than 2000 of­fences re­ported in WA came from homes where the per­pe­tra­tor was aged be­tween 10 and 17. The data is out­lined a re­port en­ti­tled

by Women’s Health and Fam­ily Ser­vices, which re­sponds to youth vi­o­lence in the home.

The re­port said that out of the 2013 of­fences re­ported, 1416 were re­ported as as­saults and 181 as sex­ual as­saults. The rest were for de­pri­va­tion of lib­erty, threat­en­ing be­hav­iour and rob­bery.

“Th­ese num­bers are only an in­di­ca­tion of do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence per­pe­trated by youth that have been re­ported and it would be dif­fi­cult to mea­sure the true ex­tent of youth vi­o­lence in the home as most as­saults and of­fences go un­re­ported,” the re­port said.

Como res­i­dent Fiona Reid, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s head of strate­gic op­er­a­tions, was re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing gov­ern­ment and non-gov­ern­ment agen­cies to­gether to form the work­ing group which cre­ated the re­port.

“We wanted to find out the sit­u­a­tion in WA and find out what was ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing,” she said.

“We also wanted to find out what works and what other peo­ple were do­ing.”

The mission of the work­ing group was to pro­vide lead­er­ship to re­duce youth vi­o­lence in the home and its im­pact on fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties by or­gan­is­ing com­mu­nity fo­rums, best prac­tice ad­vo­cacy, pol­icy devel­op­ment and high­light­ing fu­ture re­search ini­tia­tives.

She said the group hoped that com­pil­ing this re­port would put the is­sue on the public agenda.

Child Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter He­len Morton said she shared the con­cerns of Women’s Health and Fam­ily Ser­vices and the need to ad­dress the more in­vis­i­ble as­pect of do­mes­tic and fam­ily vi­o­lence.

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