One call to police could change a life
DOMESTIC violence isn’t about a single argument with a partner – often it’s about controlling behaviours sustained over time.
This is the experience of Sergeant Simon Walter, the domestic and family violence co-ordinator at the Whitsunday Police Station with nine years experience in this field.
Sgt Walter said statistically, about 25 per cent of calls to police were connected to domestic violence, with alcohol and drugs a common theme.
“But the text book definition of the battered wife and the real controlling behaviour is often a harder thing to detect,” he said.
Sgt Walter said signs to watch for in family members and friends included withdrawal from social or family circles, verbal abuse, financial dependency and hidden bruises.
He said changing attitudes across society were making it easier for victims to speak out “but there’s still a long way to go”.
“It’s always been one of those subjects people don’t want to talk about and it’s a sad thing we witness, especially with kids, but when you actually step in and take what’s basically a tortured life and improve it for the better – that’s part of the reward,” he said.
to anyone who suspects someone is suffering from DV is to report it.
“Just that small interven- tion of a phone call to police can make a difference and perhaps change a life,” he said.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Sgt Simon Walter is urging people who suspect someone is a victim of domestic violence to make the call to police. Photo: Sharon Smallwood