‘Don’t be silent’ amid high family violence risk this festive season
The McGowan Government is reminding Western Australians experiencing or at risk of family and domestic violence that help and support is at hand during the festive season.
Sadly, the Christmas and New Year break is characterised by a spike in family violence incidents with financial pressures, increased alcohol consumption and more time spent at home creating a stressful environment for some people.
New Police figures show a 16 per cent spike in family and domestic violence related police call-outs was recorded during the months of December and January last year when compared to the monthly average for the year.
Today, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk and Police Minister Paul Papalia visited the Family Violence Special Case Team to highlight their important work in tackling the scourge of family and domestic violence.
The specialist team focuses on identifying and apprehending intimate partner perpetrators who commit multiple and very violent family violence related offences.
Significantly, the McGowan Government provided $2.5 million to ensure every frontline police officer has access to specialist family and domestic violence training and is more effective in responding to these incidents.
The visit coincides with the State Government’s 16 days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign, which has a theme of ‘Don’t be silent when you see violence’ this year, and encourages bystanders to speak up when they see violence or disrespect towards women.
More information on the 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign, including a campaign kit with a list of 16 ways to take action, is available online.
“Last financial year, there were more than 58,000 police call-outs to family violence incidents.
“The high rates of family and domestic violence are unacceptable and it’s highly likely that there are many more incidents that are never reported.
“It is a devastating reality that, as many other Western Australians celebrate and enjoy the festive season, incidents of family and domestic violence typically increase.
“I urge victims and people concerned about violence to come forward so we can help.
“If you know someone who is suffering, or you may have experienced it firsthand, then please speak up.” said Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk.
“It’s a disturbing fact that over the Christmas and New Year period, our police are called out to an increase in family violence incidents.
“It should be a time when families come together.
“We are determined to do what we can to tackle the scourge of family violence.
“Our police do a tremendous job responding and supporting victims, but we must take a stand against this in our community.
“If you are a victim of family violence, please don’t suffer in silence. Say something and Police will help you.
“If you’re a perpetrator of family violence – there is help available and you can break the cycle.” said Minister for Police Paul Papalia.
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister’s office – 6552 6600
Police Minister’s office – 6552 5600
*Where possible, please include the following numbers in media stories about family and domestic violence to assist people concerned about violence with seeking help.
Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline – 1800 007 339
Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline – 1800 000 599
1800RESPECT is a national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.