Domestic Violence in SA is a massive problem

June 29, 2016

domestic violence 2Police were called to more than 18,000 domestic violence incidents in South Australia in just one year, figures released for the first time reveal.

Almost one in four police taskings in 2014-15 were in the Elizabeth Police Local Service Area, which encompasses several suburbs.

Anti-domestic violence campaigners say socio-economic factors should not be used to excuse the issue and domestic violence was not confined to poorer suburbs.

Premier Jay Weatherill on Saturday echoed those views and acknowledged domestic violence was a “massive issue for our state”. The release of the damning figures comes days after SA’s child- protection system was declared “in crisis”.

Police were called to 18,665 domestic violence incidents in the past financial year, including 4377 – or 23.45 per cent – in the Elizabeth LSA, which includes the suburbs of Davoren Park, Salisbury, Munno Para and Virginia.

Sturt LSA, which stretches from Parkside to Glenelg and down to Hallett Cove, had the next highest number of taskings at 2282, or 12.23 per cent.

SA police have previously said they respond to about 10,000 domestic violence incidents a year. The new figures obtained by the Sunday Mail relate to tasking numbers only, which do not always result in reports of crime and do not relate to numbers of offences for domestic violence.

A tasking is when police are called to an incident, disturbance or report as a result of information received.

The Sunday Mail has previously revealed that more than 6000 aggravated assaults reported each year relate to domestic violence.

Earlier this month it was revealed Families SA was in “active contact” with Adeline Yvette Rigney-Wilson who was allegedly murdered by her partner, Steven Graham Peet, along with her daughter Amber, 6, and son Corey, 5, at their Hillier home.

Opposition police spokesman Dan van Holst Pellekaan said while it was unfair to stereotype suburbs by these figures, it did clearly indicate where police resources were needed and usually after hours.

“High domestic violence areas are where police stations must be open and accessible to women and children after hours because for a range of reasons victims often do not want police coming to their homes,” he said.

“Government budget cuts which force SAPOL to skew employment away from sworn officers and towards civilians will impede the fight against domestic violence as real police officers are required when women and children are in danger in their own homes.”

Status of Women Minister Zoe Bettison said geographical data about the prevalence of domestic violence “would be taken into consideration” when allocating resources but it was important to ensure all regions were covered. To read more click here. For advice or support phone the Victim Support Service on 8231 5626 or 1800 182 368, D.V. Crisis Service on 1300 782 200 or the D.V. Gateway Service 1800 800 098, 24 hours.

The 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference; Providing the Skills for Change will be held on 5 – 7 December at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane.

With an improved focus and awareness on the effect of Domestic and Family Violence within Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association is providing a national unified platform to discuss the strain of Domestic Violence on Australian resources and facilities. Registrations are now open. To register for the Conference CLICK HERE.

With a focus on building skills within the sector, the conference will include discussion and presentations around policy, research and practice with a particular emphasis on innovative and emerging responses.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE. Abstracts close 22nd August 2016.

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