White Ribbon Day celebrated to make a stand against domestic violence

Photo: Noel Fisher

The Gosford area remains overrepresented in Domestic Violence crime statistics according to White Ribbon Day Ambassador and Brisbane Water Local Area Commander, Superintendent Daniel Sullivan.

Domestic violence remains a growing problem in NSW and the Central Coast is not immune. The latest crime statistics showed a 32 per cent increase in family violence in the Gosford area, in 2016. Supt Sullivan made his statements on White Ribbon Day, November 25, a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls. The scale of the problem is large and the Central Coast community is overrepresented, he said. “We need to ask what we, the police, are doing about it, and what should we, as the community, do about it,” Supt Sullivan said.

“From a police perspective, in NSW in 2016, there has been an enormous seismic shift in the way we approach domestic violence,” he said. “Now we are turning to the perpetrators of the crime and holding them accountable for their behaviours. “Key for us is engaging young boys around appropriate behaviours to ensure they don’t fall into this trap in their relationships with women.” According to Supt Sullivan, NSW police introduced video statements at domestic violence crime scenes, called Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief (DVEC), in June 2015. These videos give courts direct insights into the situation and give police the power to target the perpetrator directly. Supt Sullivan’s Brisbane Water Local Area Command is the largest user of these new laws.

NSW Police launched the ‘No Innocent Bystanders’ campaign on Tuesday, November 22, that said when it comes to Domestic Violence, there are no innocent bystanders. Supt Sullivan said it was part of Australian culture that domestic violence was a private matter best left to family. “If people saw someone stealing a car, they would take action and call the police. “We ask the community to bring that stolen car attitude to Domestic Violence, because that call could be the call that saves one of those lives,” Supt Sullivan said. The Brisbane Water LAC’s ongoing work with the Central Coast Liquor Accord has been another attempt to reduce alcohol-related family violence. “They’ve partnered with us in an innovative campaign to specifi cally target men in relation to this issue, another great sign of a community partnership,”

Supt Sullivan said. The Central Coast Community marked White Ribbon Day 2016 by placing more than 50,000 white poppies at The Skillion at Terrigal. Supt Sullivan said he was proud of the community’s effort into placing the white poppies at Terrigal. “These kinds of efforts show that we are prepared to come together to make a stand as a community. “On Sunday, November 27, we walked as a community from Terrigal to the top of The Skillion as a tangible sign of our stand as a community that we are against all violence, in particular men’s violence,” Supt Sullivan said. The current state of Domestic Violence shows that one in three women above the age of 16 in Australia, will experience sexual and physical abuse. One in four children will witness domestic and family violence in their lifetime, and 68 women’s lives have been lost to Domestic Violence this year, with NSW contributing 30 lives to that figure.

Compared with the same time in 2015, NSW has seen a 40 per cent increase in the level of intimate family violence. In the lead up to White Ribbon Day, the NSW Member for Terrigal, Mr Adam Crouch, and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald, encouraged the community to support the day. Mr MacDonald called on men in the community to take the oath on White Ribbon Day to make a stand to prevent violence against women. “White Ribbon challenges men to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women being perpetrated by men,’ Mr MacDonald said. “I encourage all men in the community to consider taking the oath and show your friends, family and colleagues that you will not stand for any form of violence against women,” he said. Mr Crouch said, “Community involvement is critical in order to reduce domestic violence of all forms. “We need to work together and encourage our neighbours, family, friends, colleagues and the corporate section to all play their part in reducing the crime that is domestic violence,” he said.

Interview, Nov 25, 2016 Daniel Sullivan, Brisbane Water LAC Media release, Nov 25, 2016 Chris Sullivan, offi ce of Scot MacDonald Jarrod Melmeth, journalist

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