MEDIA RELEASE: Domestic Violence related assault up 50% in some parts of NSW - Baird Government must

NSW Labor is calling on the Baird Government to fully fund cash-strapped domestic violence support services, after new data shows that domestic violence related assault is up more than 50 per cent in some parts of the state.

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) figures released yesterday show that in the two years to March 2016 domestic violence related assaults were up in several regions.

Waverley - 55.9%

Queanbeyan - 51%

Bega Valley - 48.8%

Maitland - 46.5%

Gosford - 44%

Singleton - 34.9%

Wollondilly - 30.9%

Griffith - 26.7%

Hurstville - 22%

Wagga Wagga - 18.1%

The Baird Government must fully fund domestic violence services in this month’s Budget with particular focus on the state’s hot spots.

Figures released by BOCSAR in April showed that domestic violence related assault had risen 1.9 per cent across the state in the past five years.

In 2014 the Government implemented the ‘Going Home Staying Home’ reforms which lumped domestic violence services in with homelessness services. It saw 70 percent of women’s refuges change hands.

The Baird Government has also failed to keep pace with the delivery of promised programs.

These include; the ‘It Stops Now Safer Pathway’ reform which standardises and centralises reporting of incidents, the Safety Action Meetings for women and the ‘Staying Home Leaving Violence’ program which is aimed at making it safe for women and children to stay in their homes.

Only 20 per cent of funding required for the ‘It Stops Now Safer Pathway’ roll-out had been allocated by January and the money has run out for ‘Staying Home Leaving Violence’ beyond June.

Domestic violence costs the NSW economy $4.5 billion a year, and is the greatest preventable cause of death, ill health and disability for Australian women under 45.

It is estimated that half of domestic violence is not reported, and what is reported takes up 45 percent of police time.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jenny Aitchison:

“It’s alarming that domestic violence related assault is increasing so dramatically, and yet funding is not keeping pace.

“Women and children are being turned away from refuges every day because they do not have enough resources.

“In this month’s Budget, the Government must act immediately to support these women and children, and the overstretched staff who work so hard to support them.

“This jump may be, in part, due to increased reporting, but that makes it all the more urgent that the government restore funding.

“As awareness of domestic violence increases, women can’t be left with nowhere to go.

“In my electorate, Maitland, the news just goes from bad to worse. Domestic violence was up 33 percent last year, but now the jump is 46.5 percent in two years.”

#domesticviolence #JennyAitchison #BOCSAR #refuge #mediarelease #ShadowMinisterDV