Stats depict bleak picture of domestic violence in the Riverina

HARROWING statistics have depicted a bleak picture of Wagga’s family violence crisis.

The community will rally together on Friday to commemorate White Ribbon Day and escalate the battle against the region’s sickening domestic abuse figures.

Between 55 and 60 per cent of the city’s police resources are expended on call-outs of in-home violence. 

Police within the Wagga Wagga Local Area Command attend between  9 and 14 reports of Domestic Violence incidents per day. 

Officers respond to, on average, between 9 and 14 incidents every 24 hours – with a record 45 interventions being recorded over one single weekend.

The Riverina officially recorded 1,008 reports of domestic violence in the last financial year.

It more than doubled the neighbouring Murray district with 492 incidents and was the biggest spike in the past decade. 

Police also revealed that legal action was taken in 63 per cent of matters they attended – and a staggering 88 per cent of those perpetrators were found to have breached an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO).

Acting Inspector and White Ribbon ambassador Phil Malligan has again renewed calls for the city to take a stand against the “extremely concerning” spike in domestic assaults.

“As men, we need to be prepared to step in and take action to stop the violence,” he said. 

“Women are dying and the truth of the matter is, domestic violence in our community is escalating, not de-escalating.

“Women displaced by domestic violence are subject to mental and physical trauma and I felt we needed to get some male role models together to assist Wagga Women’s Health Centre.”

The Wagga White Ribbon Gala Ball, held on Friday night at the RSL Club, will raise funds for both White Ribbon Australia and the Women’s Health Centre. 

“At last year’s event we asked the men to tie a white ribbon for each victim at Wagga Women’s Health Centre while the names were read out, but there were so many the men had to go and tie a second ribbon as well,” Inspector Malligan said.

The state government will also roll out brand new Plain English Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) on December 3 to ensure offenders have no excuses. 

Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service co-ordinator Helen West believes further work is needed to ease the nation-wide crisis. .

“The majority of domestic assaults aren’t actually reported,” she said. 

“These figures are far worse than the stats indicate. “We need for further action.” 

If you or someone you know is struggling, call RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

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