Seek safety and support this summer – that’s the message being trumpeted by the NSW Government today at the beginning of the festive season, which has historically coincided with a spike in domestic violence.
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman was joined by NSW Police Force Corporate Spokesperson for Domestic Violence Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones, as well as Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) Acting Executive Director Jackie Fitzgerald, to reassure the community that frontline services are ready to respond.
“The summer season is a happy time of celebration for most families, but sadly the statistics tell us many will actually be suffering violence at the hands of a family member over December and January,” Mr Speakman said.
“We want to send a strong message of support for victim-survivors so they know there are services here to help them when they’re ready to take that courageous step, while reminding perpetrators that they too should seek help now before police come knocking on their door.”
Ms Fitzgerald said BOCSAR data shows domestic violence assaults increase over summer with 35 per cent more incidents recorded in December than in July.
“We see a major change in domestic violence rates from season to season, with December and January consistently being our peak months for assaults,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
National sexual assault and domestic violence counselling service 1800 RESPECT also recorded a 15 per cent boost in calls in December 2018, compared with the average intake over the previous six months.
Assistant Commissioner Jones said police are better equipped than ever to bring perpetrators of domestic violence to justice.
“We have dedicated domestic violence high risk offender teams across all of our policing regions, specialist Domestic Violence Liaison Officers in our commands and districts, cameras to record detailed evidence at incident scenes, and more officers on the beat to respond to calls 24/7,” Assistant Commissioner Jones said.
If you, or someone you know, has experienced domestic or family violence, the services available to provide support include:
- 1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732 is a confidential information, counselling and supportservice;
- NSW Domestic Violence Line 1800 656 463 is a statewide telephone crisis counsellingand referral service for women;
- Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491 provide telephone counselling, information andreferrals for men;
- Link2Home 1800 152 152 can help refer women experiencing domestic violence tocrisis accommodation; and
- Lifeline 13 11 14 is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personalcrisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
If you are in danger or in an emergency, always contact Triple Zero (000).
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