Our Say: Zero tolerance time for domestic violence

Why is it that the festive and holiday season brings out the worst in some?

Some people (others might describe them as animals) handed out beatings rather than gifts in December.

There was a horror tale in statistics for domestic violence incidents in Dubbo.

The Western Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WWDVCAS) at Dubbo reported it had 180 cases referred to it in December. There were over 160 in November.

Cases of domestic violence assessed as involving a “serious threat” more than doubled on the November figure of 14 such threats.

WWDVCAS coordinator Debbie Todkill said “it is a concern that the serious threats have doubled”.

Most referrals had come directly from police.

She said increases in domestic violence at Christmas were probably because alcohol is involved in celebrations ... but more importantly there is more of a demand on families, financially as well as emotionally.

“Christmas is not always a happy time for people. 

“And so we do quite often see a spike over Christmas period … ”

So, in the supposedly most joyous part of the year, there are many Dubbo residents beaten because of drink, money or emotional issues.

It is not just those used as punching bags that suffer, but children and other family members. The long-term impacts of domestic violence on families are well documented – lasting emotional damage and potential mental health issues.

Reactions to the figures are likely to be more heightened because the festive season is meant to be about goodwill to all.

But, domestic violence in Dubbo and other Orana centres is a problem throughout the year. While the number of incidents in some places may have fallen in the latest police statistics the issue is one the entire community has to confront.

The rates for the violence in the region are a disgrace. Orana centres constantly take out half the worst 15 positions in NSW for the crime.

With 2018 just starting communities need to put the fight against domestic violence into their plan for the year.

Report offences,and dob in and “shame” offenders. 

Zero tolerance should be the aim.