This is a story I did in the Hearld Sun
Top cop promises get-tough approach to home violence
THERE will be a huge surge in the number of frontline police to combat family violence as more women and children seek to escape destructive homes.
The Herald Sun has found teams of police specially trained to work with home violence victims will be doubled and more officers will be assigned to help get intervention orders.
Police respond to a violent family incident every 13 minutes, or 112 a day - up 40 per cent in just five years.
But victim advocates said although police services had improved, some officers still do not take the plight of victims seriously.
Last week police refused to help a frightened 18-year-old whose life was threatened by her partner until a court officer said they had the power to grant an on-the-spot interim intervention order.
Outlining his plans, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said the force was "extremely serious" about dealing with violence in the home.WHEN Tessa Jetson's childhood sweetheart turned violent after seven years together she knew she needed to escape.
"Everyone has the right to feel safe, especially in their own home," he said.
"We are covering every corner of the state to make sure that all victims of family violence, no matter where they live, will have the best possible support from police.
"We all need to take ownership of this issue.
"We can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist."
Victoria Police will:
DOUBLE its existing dedicated family-violence units over three years, with a unit to be based in most of the force's 21 divisions to improve responses.
BOOST the number of family-violence court liaison officers to help victims with police-initiated intervention order applications.
EXPAND its civil advocacy unit - set up last year to run police intervention order applications at the Children's and Melbourne Magistrates' Courts.
To boost prevention programs, the State Government will today announce $7.2 million for family-violence-prevention grants.
Crime Prevention Minister Andrew McIntosh said: "These new grants will support programs that aim to prevent this insidious crime and stop the violence from happening."
Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service chief executive Deb Bryant said police referrals were steadily rising, from an average of 78 a month in 2006-07 to more than 500 in November.
She said it was terrific police were responding more positively, but it put more strain on resources.
"There's a huge gap in crisis accommodation and even for women staying in the family home there's a funding increase needed for outreach services," she said.
Police were called to more than 170,000 violent family incidents in five years.
Sadly, 22 of the 40,892 domestic incidents reported to police in 2010-11 were murders; another 22 were attempted murders or conspiracy to murder.
Police laid almost 24,000 charges, including 12 for murder, 278 for rape, 822 for sexual assault, 11,073 for assault and 6427 for breaching court orders.
Women make up more than three in four family violence victims and more than a third of violent home confrontations are seen by children.
Police are called to parents bashing their children at the rate of two a day.
Survivor Tessa Jetson said police services had improved, but had "a long way to go".
"I still hear a lot of stories from girls that police come and look down at you. There still needs to be a lot more training on how to treat women," said Ms Jetson, who runs a web-based support site and workshops for women escaping violent relationships.
About 6700 domestic intervention orders were sought last year.
Police have been able to issue interim orders on victims' behalf since 2004.
Posted by Tessa Jetson on 26th February, 2012 | Comments | Trackbacks
Tags: domestic violence
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