Kapooka Commandant Colonel Mick Garraway has a sobering message to mainly the men in Wagga who are not stepping up against domestic violence.
“Domestic violence is overwhelmingly an issue for men to take on because men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators and women and children are overwhelmingly the victims,” Colonel Garraway said.
“It’s time for us to stop making excuses. Stop blaming alcohol and drugs; the diminished responsibility argument just doesn’t stack up anymore.
“Stop blaming debt and other societal issues because they don’t stack up either. Violence towards our family members is a crime.”
Speaking at Wagga’s first march against domestic violence, Colonel Garraway’s comments were matched by police Superintendent Bob Noble.
“In the four short years of my tenure at this command, we’ve managed at least six (domestic-related homicides) in the district, in an area that comprises perhaps only 0.1 per cent of the population of the state,” Superintendent Noble said.
“Someone almost always knows something is not right and we all have a role to play in this respect,” Superintendent Noble said.
Superintendent Noble announced an extra domestic violence police officer position has been created for the Wagga Local Area Command, with recruitment starting this week.
He said Wagga has a silent majority that knows domestic violence is wrong, but don’t know what to do to stop it.
Colonel Garraway said the answer starts with each individual.
“What I can do is I control how I act; what I say, what I do. I can choose how I deal with people in the situations that I face,” he said.
“And I can ensure that through my language, my actions and the manner that I adopt that I don’t create an environment that’s permissive for domestic violence in any way.
“If I see men who are bystanders and people who commit abuse I can call them out and at the same time I think the reverse is true.
“If I choose to do nothing, I choose to say nothing, then all I’m doing is I’m helping to maintain that permissive environment that perpetrators hide within,” Colonel Garraway said.