Domestic violence thugs face crackdown after shock figures

September 11, 2015

Perth Now, 7 September 2015.

DOMESTIC violence thugs face a new intervention program after alarming figures show the number of people seeking help has increased, and the number of perpetrators arrested decreased.

Child Protection Minister Helen Morton announced the ‘Freedom from Fear’ program on Monday, to increase safety of those at risk and hold perpetrators accountable for their violence and abuse.

The new initiative comes after The Sunday Times revealed that just one-in-four police call-outs for domestic violence in WA resulted in an arrest in 2014-15.

And new figures reveal an unexplained drop in the police “sanction rate” for these cases over the last three years.

The sanction rate refers to the number of verified offences where an investigation outcome is recorded, such as an arrest or a withdrawn complaint.

The new program has identified five priorities areas — increasing public awareness, focusing on those at greatest risk, perpetrator intervention strategies, and consistent responses across agencies responding to perpetrators, and increasing the capacity of the justice system to stop perpetrators.

The program will also include new restraining orders specific to family and domestic violence, respectful relationship education in schools, a pilot program for male perpetrators of family and domestic violence who also misuse substances, and improved emergency access to women’s refuges in the metropolitan area.

Minister for Child Protection Helen Morton said there were many government initiatives targeting domestic violence.

“The State Government has built an integrated and responsive service system that is based on research and best practice to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable, including Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams (FDVRTs) which operate in regional and remote communities and all parts of the state.

“FDVRTs are partnerships between state government and non-government agencies which work together to assess and respond to incidents of family and domestic violence attended by the police.”

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call for emergency’s 000, or the Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 007 339 or phone the Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 000 599.

Read the full article here.

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