DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Boost to DV resources in Northern Tablelands

MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today welcomed the State Government’s announcement of a $60 million package to target perpetrators and support women, men and children who have experienced domestic and family violence (DFV).

Locally, Mr Marshall was pleased to announce that accommodation support for victims is being expanded into Inverell and that additional qualified medical staff will be employed to work with victims of sexual assault in the Hunter New England Area Health District (HNEAHD).

“Sadly, too many people in our community suffer domestic and family violence at the hands of someone they know and trust,” Mr Marshall said.

“Domestic violence is a crime and sadly our region has some of the highest domestic violence rates in the state. I am calling on the community to join me in saying enough is enough.

“I am delighted that the Staying Home Leaving Violence program will expand into Inverell, providing vital support to allow local women and their children to stay safely in their home of choice, while the perpetrator is removed.

“The government has also announced it will expand the number of qualified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in high-risk rural and regional communities in NSW, including this region.

“These specialised nurses provide services and collect forensic evidence for adult victims of sexual assault, while also providing crucial expert advice for criminal proceedings where required.

“This means quality evidence can be collected without delay in regional and rural communities across NSW to support victims when they need it most.”

Mr Marshall said the package of reforms would also initiate Australia’s first Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, which discloses information about a perpetrator’s violent history, and provides a stronger response to sexual assault.

He said there would also be new Police Domestic Violence High-Risk Offender Teams to target perpetrators and reduce the rate of reoffending.

The package also includes DFV Suspect Target Management Plans that will put offenders on notice, as well as mandated behaviour change programs to make perpetrators address their behaviour.

Mr Marshall said the NSW Government was leading the way in providing support to victims and targeting perpetrators of this insidious crime to stop the violence before it occurs.

“Under the DVDS a person or a concerned third party, such as family, friends or agencies, can make an application to NSW Police for the disclosure of a person’s violent offending history,” Mr Marshall said.

“This is about preventing people being kept in the dark about potential dangers in their relationships.

“I welcome this outstanding commitment and response from the State Government and remind the community that it is up to all of us to say loudly and strongly – enough is enough.”

This is the first stage of the NSW Government’s increased investment into DFV. The Government is currently working with the non-government sector to analyse service gaps through a DFV Blueprint. This work will be completed in 2016.

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