Domestic violence claims one woman a week

Men and women are both victims of domestic violence but every week in Australia one woman is killed by her current or former partner.

THE State Government has launched a 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign to raise awareness of violence against women in WA and encourage communities to take an active role in making change.

The campaign is the McGowan Government’s contribution to the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign and marks 16 days between White Ribbon Day on November 25 and Human Rights Day on December 10.

The government campaign raise awareness of the impact of violence on women, children and communities, motivate – through positive actions and advocate – by highlighting organisations working to support victim safety and perpetrator accountability.

At least one White Ribbon Day held in Perth in the past week acknowledged that domestic violence does not discriminate and that men can also be the victims of domestic violence but women and their children are overwhelmingly over-represented as victims of family and domestic violence.

Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk said WA had the second highest rate of reported physical and sexual violence perpetrated against women in Australia, second only to the Northern Territory.

“In Australia, one woman is killed each week at the hands of her current or former partner,’’ she said.

“The statistics are unacceptable and it’s time to end violence against women and children.’’

Premier Mark McGowan said in WA, more than 50,000 family and domestic violence incidents were reported to police in 2016-17, and more than 4500 calls were made to domestic violence helplines.

“This campaign demonstrates the whole of government, whole of community approach we are adopting to challenge the unacceptable levels of family and domestic violence in WA,’’ he said.

“My government has introduced a raft of measures to reduce domestic violence and has confirmed vital funding in the current Budget, including funding two new women’s refuges.”

Ms McGurk said there was a need to hold perpetrators to account, but also a need to change the conversation in homes, communities and workplaces to end violence against women and children.

The Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline (9223 1188 or free call 1800 007 339) is a state-wide, 24-hour service – it provides support for women facing family and domestic violence.

1800RESPECT (free call 1800 737 732) is a national online sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.