Advocates Support Roll-Out Of Program Across New South Wales To Target Domestic Violence Offenders

05/03/2016 7:53 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Parents fighting and daughter distressed

Advocates believe New South Wales has taken a huge step forward in tackling domestic violence after a pilot program proved successful.

The Suspect Target Management Plan has been put in place across the state following the trialling of the scheme by St George Local Area Command (LAC).

"We selected the 13 most frequent offenders in the area and would visit the families every couple of weeks and make sure they were complying with their conditions of their AVO's," senior constable Karlee Ball, domestic violence liaison at St George LAC, told The Huffington Post Australia.

Within a year, of the 13 offenders, four had been arrested, convicted and were serving time.

"We have a couple who we no longer have to manage because the violence completely stopped."

"There was one case where alcohol was an issue within the family. They went to rehab and they are now sober and we've had no more reports from that family," Ball said.

Police respond to over 140,000 incidents of domestic and family violence per year in NSW.

The senior constable said between, the hours of 6pm and 9pm the LAC receive the most calls reporting domestic violence incidents.

"It's when the family gets home from work and the kids get home from school activities -- when everyone is home together," she said.

CEO of White Ribbon Australia Libby Davies told The Huffington Post Australia the NSW government talks about the program as their first stage of their increased investment into domestic and family violence.

"We do know that one-off behaviour change programs do not necessarily mean long-term behavioural change. However, they are critical and this is a very positive move by the NSW government," Davies said.

White Ribbon Australia is the sole, national male-led campaign to put an end to men's violence against women.

It's Not Your Fault

NSW Police has today launched a powerful new video campaign to raise public awareness about the issue of domestic and family violence.“It’s not your fault” is the theme of the campaign, which consists of a 30-second community service announcement (CSA) for TV, as well as a longer version for cinemas and social media.In NSW, police respond to more than 140,000 incidents of domestic and family violence per year. This translates to about 380 cases every day.Today’s CSA launch coincides with a state-wide roll-out of a new process for targeting repeat domestic-violence offenders.For over a decade, NSW Police has used a process called the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) to deal with high-risk and repeat offenders.The process has recently been adapted to include high-risk domestic violence offenders, and following successful trials in the Central Metropolitan Region, this refinement is now being introduced state-wide.“The STMP model will ensure the state’s most serious domestic-violence offenders face the highest level of scrutiny by police, and allow us to intervene before they commit their next offence,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.“This renewed focus on offender accountability is part of our ongoing commitment to providing the utmost level of support to the victims of domestic and family violence.“We have made other significant headway. For example, in a world first, NSW police can now record domestic violence video evidence at the time of an incident, which relieves the victim of the emotional burden of giving evidence in court.“But a problem of this magnitude won’t go away in a hurry. We still have much more work to do, and that includes raising public awareness about the issue through campaigns like the one we are launching today,” he said.Members of NSW Police’s Domestic Violence Team used their own front-line experience investigating and prosecuting domestic-violence cases to write, direct and produce the community service announcement.The aim of the campaign is to remind people there is no excuse for domestic and family violence, and it is never the victim’s fault.“Domestic violence is a serious crime and police are committed to bringing offenders to justice,” Commissioner Scipione said.“Every day police battle the community perception that domestic violence is a ‘family matter’ or ‘private business’.“That is most definitely not the case. If you are aware this is occurring in your community, you are obliged to report it, like any other crime.“Some may find the images in these videos confronting; we do not apologise for this. Domestic and family violence is a confronting issue, and one we must continue to face head-on,” Commissioner Scipione said.NSW Police Force’s Corporate Spokesperson on Domestic and Family Violence, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller, said it is only fitting the videos were developed by police.“Police officers attend hundreds of domestic-violence incidents every day and see first-hand the impact and harm it has on families,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.“Children are the hidden victims of domestic violence, which is why children feature so prominently in the campaign.“There are no innocent bystanders in this space. By reporting domestic violence, you could prevent the next homicide,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.Police are urging anyone with information about domestic-violence crimes to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Posted by NSW Police Force on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The NSW Police force launched a powerful new video campaign on February 24, centred on the theme 'it’s not your fault'.

Davies said White Ribbon Australia would like to see a greater focus on primary prevention to stop domestic violence before it becomes entrenched.

"That means working across the community to change attitudes and behaviours of some men that feel it is their right to control and abuse women."

According to Moo Baulch, CEO of Domestic Violence NSW, the new program sends a strong message that police do not accept domestic violence and will be targeting individuals who are serial perpetrators.

"I think it’s a new way that police are going to be targeting the particularly high-volume offenders," Baulch told The Huffington Post Australia.

"I think things are really shifting about the way police are dealing with domestic violence," she said.

Davies said the Suspect Target Management Plan Program will provide support for women and their children and make perpetrators accountable.

"We must never lose the focus and the momentum we have now to address the issue of domestic and family violence," she said.

Ball said anything to promote family safety in the community was a step forward.

"We've had good results in St George and I think that will be carried over to statewide," Ball said.

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