MEDIA RELEASE - Alarming domestic violence rates a key topic at Wagga Wagga roundtable

Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jenny Aitchison, hosted a Domestic Violence roundtable in Wagga Wagga today, as part of her state-wide consultation process.

Recent data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) showed a massive increase in domestic violence rates in Wagga Wagga with an alarming 46.1%, topping the state. Link to full report.

Ms Aitchison spoke with service providers about issues they are experiencing in relation to domestic and family violence as part of her roundtable visits around the state. Ms Aitchison has previously held domestic violence roundtables in Gosford, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Orange, Queanbeyan, Goulburn and Wollongong.

Domestic violence support services in Wagga Wagga need significantly more funding to frontline service providers and programs to reduce domestic violence related offences particularly since the NSW Liberal Government merged domestic violence support service funding with homelessness funding in 2014.

The rollout of Safer Pathways in Wagga Wagga has been a positive step forward but more resourcing is needed due to the time consuming process for agencies already stretched by the increase in reported cases.

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

“We have communities across the state in crisis with ever increasing reports of domestic violence and the government has been sitting on its hands not rolling out the Safer Pathways Program to all affected communities.”

“It has been nearly six years since the government came to power and we have a long way to go before we have a full rollout of the Safer Pathways program.”

“Labor candidates at the last state and federal elections Councillor Dan Hayes and Tim Kurlyowicz have both raised the increasing levels of domestic violence in Wagga Wagga with me over the past year. This led to us arranging my visit to Wagga Wagga.”

“The increase in the number of women reporting domestic violence must be met with funding increases for support services from the NSW Liberal Government.”

“It’s crucial that the Government is properly funding the services that people need when they attempt to escape domestic violence.”

"It was good to see a strong contingent from local government attending the roundtable, including the Mayor, Councillor Hayes and staff. Domestic Violence is a community wide issue and needs a full response from all levels of Government."

“This forum allowed local service providers and stakeholders to explain what is needed to help support victims in our community and properly resource the programs that prevent its prevalence.”

“It’s time that the NSW Liberal Government provided the support that is needed to help victims of domestic violence. This is the most important and most effective form of long term preventative action to stop intergenerational family violence."

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