WE CAN HELP IF YOU ARE THE VIC­TIM OF DO­MES­TIC VI­O­LENCE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Street Watch -

FAM­ILY and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence have come to the fore in the past few weeks with a num­ber of high-pro­file in­ci­dents be­ing high­lighted by main­stream media. Co-in­ci­den­tally the Prime Min­is­ter has an­nounced a $100 mil­lion pack­age of mea­sures to pro­vide a safety net for women and chil­dren at high risk of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing vi­o­lence, which is to be ap­plauded. Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is one of the most com­mon forms of vi­o­lence against women in Aus­tralia. Es­ti­mates from crime vic­tim­i­sa­tion sur­veys sug­gests over 240,000 Aus­tralian adult women are phys­i­cally as­saulted each year and nearly one-third of these as­sault vic­tims have been phys­i­cally as­saulted by a cur­rent or pre­vi­ous part­ner. Many of these vi­o­lent in­ci­dents go un­re­ported. Stud­ies have found that fewer than half of all peo­ple who are vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence re­port the in­ci­dent to po­lice. What can’t be dis­puted is that 63 women have been killed so far in 2015 as a re­sult of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents. That is 63 sense­less deaths. West Aus­tralian Po­lice take a zero tol­er­ance ap­proach to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. If there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence, we will pros­e­cute the ac­cused per­son. We can as­sist vic­tims by is­su­ing Po­lice Or­ders against the al­leged per­pe­tra­tor, help­ing the vic­tim in ob­tain­ing a vi­o­lence re­strain­ing or­der, find al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion, and also re­fer the vic­tim to sup­port agen­cies, such as coun­selling or le­gal ser­vices. We will take all mea­sures pos­si­ble to en­sure the vic­tims and chil­dren’s wel­fare and safety is not com­pro­mised. Oc­to­ber is Na­tional Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Aware­ness month. – Gary Th­waites

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