New plans to target domestic violence offenders revealed

The State Government has announced new plans to target domestic violence perpetrators.

The strategy, revealed today,  aims to reduce family violence as part of National Child Protection Week which will run from September 6-12.

Some of the new measures include restraining order systems specific to domestic violence, new relationship education systems in schools and improved access to women’s refuges in metropolitan areas.

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said Western Australia had the second highest rate of reported sexual or physical violence in Australia, behind the Northern Territory.

“We have already commenced a range of reforms such as a new model for tackling family violence matters in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia,” Mrs Morton said.

“This includes dedicated responses to breaches of violence restraining orders and family violence-related assaults. The action plan is the next step in the fight against the scourge in our community.”

WA Police respond to around 40,000 domestic violence incidents a year and in more than 65 per cent of these children were involved.

National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect vice president Sue Packer said it was important to consider what caused someone to become a perpetrator.

“For a lot of them this is the message that they got in their childhood,” Mrs Packer said.

“A lot of them have had a scary and unhappy time. They may not have learned how to be good parents or good partner.

“Domestic violence has been a very big problem for a long time. We have now moved to the point where we recognise it’s a problem, we recognise that it is not good and that we can do something about it.”

Anyone experiencing domestic violence is urged to call the women’s domestic violence helpline on 1800 007 339 or the men’s domestic violence helpline on 1800 000 599.