Editorial: Speak up on violence, it could save a life

IT IS an issue that many suffer with in silence, but we can’t afford to ignore it.

Domestic violence is happening in Dubbo and many of us probably know someone who is affected by it.

It is families, it is women and it is men – in many cases there are children aswell.

There are so many awareness campaigns and programs out there these days to encourage victims to speak up.

But what if they are too afraid? 

Then it should be up to us to do it for them.

There are a number of police and support groups that urge community members to raise their voice against domestic violence.

And while the old adage might be to “mind your own business”, in this case, speaking out could potentially save a life.

Tuesday marked the start of Domestic Violence Prevention month and the tireless workers in the field know all too well how prevalent the issue is within our community, and it takes a whole village to bring it to a stop.

According the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), rates of domestic assaults are somewhat alarming in the Dubbo Regional Council area.

There were 380 incidents reported to police in the Dubbo area in the 12 months up to September 2017. 

This is more than one incident of domestic violence per day. But we know police attend many more callouts each day.

This reported figure is twice the state average, so it comes as no surprise that our local police are working hard in the field of domestic violence.

Orana Mid-Western Police District commander Peter McKenna has made it one of his primary areas of attention since taking up the post, while Dubbo has a specialised domestic violence team that works out of the local station.

Head to the local courthouse most Wednesdays and you will see a stream of people there whose sole job is to help support the victims of domestic violence.

These people do a terrific job, but realistically it shouldn’t get that far in the first place.

As citizens, we have nothing to lose by speaking out and reporting domestic violence, you could be saving someone who has the potential to lose everything.

As one officer put it at last year’s White Ribbon Day event at Victoria Park – “there’s never just one victim”.

Don’t leave it too late.