Deniliquin Pastoral Times

U3A members learn about domestic violence reform

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Students at the University of the Third Age heard about reforms to domestic violence laws in New South Wales and how they affect cross border communitie­s, at Intereach on Friday.

Senior Constable Paul Ebsworth of the Murray River Police District spoke about domestic violence, home security and phone scams in a lecture to the U3A class of nine.

U3A program coordinato­r Helen Burnham said the advice and ‘‘level of assistance’’ available from police was valuable informatio­n.

“The guest speaker was chosen as I felt it would be useful informatio­n and could provide coping tools for the vulnerable,” Mrs Burnham said.

Under the new laws, Sen Const Ebsworth said victims were able to submit a video testimony to court which reduced the risk of psychologi­cal harm in appearing in front of their alleged offenders, which he said correlated with a conviction rate increase of 25 per cent.

The laws also provide for apprehende­d violence orders which are recognised nationally rather than NSW-only, allowing police to keep better track of potentiall­y dangerous offenders.

‘‘We can amend AVO’s from other states to be stronger if they’re not strong enough,’’ Sen Const Ebsworth said.

He said this change is particular­ly useful for highway police, who need to be able to work effectivel­y across Victoria and NSW.

Other changes include AVO compliance orders, joint agency communicat­ion on vulnerable or at risk people, and rigorous review of all reports of domestic violence.

‘‘I review all domestic violence matters to make sure they’re handled correctly,’’ Sen Const Ebsworth said.

Mrs Burnham said students ‘‘certainly were surprised’’ to hear the statistics around local policing, including the management of 100 AVOs in Deniliquin per month.

‘‘It was well attended in light of COVID-19 restrictio­ns,” she said.

The Deniliquin U3A currently has 128 members which is an “extraordin­arily high”

number for a U3A club in this region, according to Mrs Burnham.

Guests are welcome to attend one event before joining U3A on a ‘try before you buy’ basis.

Anyone requiring crisis support can contact Accessline on 1800 800 944 , 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732, Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14, BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. Informatio­n is also available at www.denimental­health.org.au.

 ??  ?? Senior Constable Paul Ebsworth lecturing at the U3A event.
Senior Constable Paul Ebsworth lecturing at the U3A event.
 ??  ?? Attending the forum were (from Ann Lipple and Judith Wright.
left)
Attending the forum were (from Ann Lipple and Judith Wright. left)

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