Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jenny Aitchison, State Member for Campbelltown Greg Warren and Federal Member for Macarthur Dr Mike Freelander MP attended the Campbelltown Domestic Violence Committee on Monday. Ms Aitchison attended the meeting, as part of a state-wide consultation process which has seen her visit some 45 domestic violence hotspots over the last 18 months

As part of her state wide process Ms Aitchison has held domestic violence roundtables in Gosford, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Orange, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Tahmoor, Tweed, Wagga Wagga, Heathcote, Cootamundra and Wollongong and has spoken to many service providers.

Ms Aitchison spoke with the diverse workers in Campbelltown who make up the Domestic Violence Committee about issues they are experiencing in relation to domestic and family violence. Members of the Committee include police, the Women's Domestic Court Advocacy Service, local clubs, Health departments at State and Federal level and non-government and community organisations.

Recent data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) shows Campbelltown with an alarming 875 domestic violence related assault incidents reported from July 2016 to June 2017. The city is ranked 35th in the State, but the actual numbers are amongst the top five in the state.

The need for significantly more funding to frontline service providers and an increase in prevention and perpetrator behaviour change programs was highlighted during the meeting. Whilst the government had recently changed legislation relating to violent crime to increase access to perpetrator programs, many cases do not progress to formal charges being laid, hence there is no conviction and no access to such programs.

Members agreed that churches, other religious organisations and indeed the wider community have a greater role to play in supporting victims to leave. A joint project between WDVCAS and Campbelltown Catholic Club to supply duress alarms to women escaping violence by staying in their home was also highlighted as an example of best practice where businesses can support the chronically underfunded sector.

The Government cut the tender to Marcia, a refuge and awarded it to another operator which now only provides transitional accommodation. Given the increasing rates specialist domestic violence there has not been a commensurate rate of increased funding since 2014.

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

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

“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."

Quotes attributable to Member for Campbelltown Greg Warren

“It’s been incredibly valuable bringing together the Shadow Minister and many of our front-line services and local people to talk about domestic violence in our community.”

"There are too many people in our community who are suffering the trauma of intergenerational family violence. We must do everything we can to help them."

Media Contacts: Jenny Aitchison - 0418 456 405

Greg Warren – 0448 257 840

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