Those working in the family violence sector have floated the idea of a specialist domestic violence court.
On Thursday, No to Violence was in Dubbo for the fourth leg of its hot spot listening tour. The aim of the visit was to bring people together to have a conversation about the delivery of domestic violence services in the community.
No to Violence CEO Jacqui Watt said one of the key messages was a need for more domestic and family violence services.
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“One of the things that we’ve heard is people who come out from the cities to work in areas like Dubbo and Orange are amazed at how big their workload is. I think that’s an indicator of how much strain there is on the system,” Ms Watt said.
“In Orange the police numbers are half what they are in other parts of the state.”
...people who come out from the cities to work in areas like Dubbo and Orange are amazed at how big their workload is.Jacqui Watt
Ideas to improve the delivery of domestic violence services were also brainstormed.
“A suggestion that has been made is that there should be a specialist domestic violence court because there’s lots of professionals and individuals who could come together in that court and judges could form a more rounded view of what the whole family dynamic is and what’s needed. When they’re issue an AVO they’re doing it with a lot more information than in the current court system,” Ms Watt said.
Between July 2017 and June 2018, there were 413 incidents of domestic violence in the Dubbo local government area, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Dubbo is the seventh worse in the state out of 134 councils.
Ms Watt said for 25 years No to Violence had been working at the frontline with men who used violence and power to control others so they would take responsibility for the harm they caused.
After visiting Albury, Wagga Wagga, Orange and Dubbo, Not to Violence will consider all the suggestions and information that has been gathered before taking the key messages to the government in the lead up to the NSW election.
“While there is some exceptional work being done in the preventative space, there is still much work to be done here and now, to keep Australian women and children safe from family violence” Ms Watt said.