Monday, June 24, 2024

Boost for WA frontline DV response

Frontline responses to family and domestic violence in Western Australia have been boosted with 14 newly created roles across seven metropolitan and regional areas.

The Family Safety Officer positions will enhance existing Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams (FDVRT), which are made up of staff from the Department of Communities, WA Police Force and the non-government sector, and provide a coordinated Family and Domestic Violence Response Services to victim-survivors and perpetrators.

The FDVRT model aims to improve the safety of child and adult victim-survivors, connect people to wrap-around support services and strengthen perpetrator accountability.

“There is no doubt family and domestic violence is a major problem in Australia and here in WA, and tragically, we know that the Christmas-New Year period sees a rise in these incidents,” said Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister, Sabine Winton.

“By creating new specialist frontline positions, we are boosting our response to family and domestic violence. These positions will provide a dedicated response to high-risk, high-harm cases of family and domestic violence and will be a key interface between existing supports and the local community.”

She said the new recruits are leading an integrated approach to deliver intensive intervention, safety planning and support to those who are considered at the highest risk of harm.

The boost to frontline responses comes as the WA Government warns of an expected spike in family and domestic violence rates over the Christmas period.

WA Police Force figures show a steep rise in reported family violence incidents during the Christmas holiday period when compared to the daily average.

“It’s a sad fact that police respond to a significant increase in the number of family and domestic violence incidents at this time of year,” said Police Minister, Paul Papalia.

“Police do an incredible job responding to these abhorrent crimes but we all need to play our part.

“I urge people to speak up if they have safety concerns for themselves, loved ones or neighbours.

“We hope by raising awareness of this issue through the 16 Days in WA campaign, we can reduce – and ultimately end – this scourge on society.”

The new Family Safety Officer positions are already active within FDVRT teams in Perth, Midland, Joondalup, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and South West and will soon start in Mirrabooka.

They are the first of 34 positions to be rolled out as part of the WA Government’s $10.7 million commitment to bolstering frontline responses to family and domestic violence in WA.

The recruitment announcement occurs during the State Government’s 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the issue.

The theme for 2023 is “Stopping Family Violence: Play Your Part”, which encourages everyone to consider their role in ending family and domestic violence.

People experiencing family and domestic violence can call the Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 007 339, or Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 000 599, or the national Helpline 1800 RESPECT.

Latest Articles