The New South Wales Country Women’s Association is calling for greater action on domestic violence, including in regional and remote communities such as the NSW far west.
- NSW CWA say one woman is killed every nine days and one man every 29 days in a domestic violence situation
- In the 12 months to June this year, 231 DV assaults were reported in the Broken Hill council area
- The NSW CWA president says attitudes towards victims need to improve
It said one woman is killed every nine days and one man every 29 days in a domestic violence-related situation.
According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), Broken Hill’s rate of domestic violence assaults remains more than three times the state average.
New South Wales CWA president, Stephanie Stanhope, said the figures were horrific and needed to be properly addressed.
Far west numbers remain high
The latest BOCSAR statistics show that in the 12 months leading up to June this year, 231 domestic violence assaults were reported in the Broken Hill council area.
There were 220 domestic violence assaults in the city last year.
In one recent case, Broken Hill Police said they arrested and charged a man for allegedly choking his pregnant girlfriend and slamming her head into walls, floors, cabinets and the toilet.
Narelle Blows, one of the managers of the Broken Hill Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service, said recent domestic violence reports were not surprising.
“There are incidents that happen like that quite regularly.”
Ms Blows said more people in the community were reporting suspected assaults, but actual incident numbers probably had not changed.
Fellow manager, Loretta Stuart, said the service tried to make contact with women who had been referred to them three times before asking police to do a welfare check.
“We always remind them that we’ll get the referral through and we will be ringing again to make sure everything’s OK and [asking] if they need anything else.”
‘Mindset change needed’
The state CWA partnered with White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence New South Wales to highlight domestic violence issues for its Awareness Week campaign this week.
The Broken Hill CWA will raise money for the Staying Home Leaving Violence program this weekend as part of the campaign.
Ms Stanhope said in regional and rural areas there needed to be more domestic violence services such as emergency accommodation, follow-up services, and transport options.
She said attitudes towards victims of domestic violence needed to improve as well, something she had experienced personally.
“People don’t believe that you’re in a violent situation because it doesn’t appear that you are.”
She said the mindset around being believed needed to change.
“If a woman says she’s in a violent situation she probably is whether there are any visible signs or symptoms,” she said.