Manchester's dedication to victims honoured

HUNDREDS of victims of domestic violence have been supported by Orana Local Area Command (LAC) Senior Constable Wendy Manchester.

Her dedication during the past four-and-a half years as the Orana LAC domestic violence liaison officer was recognised this week as a finalist in the 2012 Sabine Altmann Award for Domestic Violence Practitioner of the Year.

Senior Constable Cheryl Hall from the New England LAC won the inaugural award while Senior Constable Vanessa Curmi from Sutherland Shire LAC was another finalist.

Senior Constable Manchester is the only domestic violence liaison officer in the Orana LAC, which covers Dubbo, Wellington, Gilgandra, Narromine and the villages in between.

"At Dubbo Local Court every Wednesday I have at least 25 cases but not all are domestic violence," she said.

"It would be well into the hundreds of women I have assisted through the court process."

Senior Constable Manchester began working in the domestic violence field because she believed she could make a difference helping victims.

"It was a huge honour just to have been nominated by my command but also to be listed as a finalist," she said.

Orana LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Rod Blackman nominated Senior Constable Manchester for the 2012 Sabine Altmann Award for Domestic Violence Practitioner of the Year.

Detective Inspector Blackman said he recognised the value of Senior Constable Manchester's work when he took up his current role in 2008.

" She takes on a workload far above and beyond that expected of her however it is clear her personal passion in domestic violence drives her to excel," he said.

"For many years as the sole domestic violence liaison officer in a LAC with one of the highest domestic violence incident rate she managed to methodically perform her duty to an extremely high level."

In her role as a domestic violence liaison officer Senior Constable Manchester checks the police system for cases in the area and makes contact with victims.

"I send out an introductory letter from myself and get them any information they need before the court date," she said.

"At least the victims have someone they can ring."

Senior Constable Manchester also mentors other police officers, lectures on investigating domestic violence at training days and also takes part in various domestic violence programs in the Orana LAC. Sabine Altmann worked as a regional domestic violence co-ordinator in the New England LAC from 2008 until her tragic death in a car crash in October 2011.

megan.taylor@ruralpress.com

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