Opinion

DV package a step in the right direction

AS I've mentioned before, domestic violence is one of the toughest areas of policing.

Even as a cop, you can feel really helpless when it comes to these sorts of crimes.

When you attend the scene of a brutal domestic violence incident, you question whether there was more that you could've done to protect the woman who has been attacked by her partner.

You go over their history and try to piece together whether there was adequate enforcement orders put into place.

But at the end of the day, a piece of paper isn't going to stop someone from committing an offence against their spouse, unless there are tough legislations to back it.

The domestic violence package introduced by our new government is a huge step in the right direction, and something that our country has been calling for.

I am pleased that they are focusing on allowing a woman to stay in her home and feel safe.

Accountability for domestic crimes is what can deter an offender. Up until now, it has been customary for a victim to be rehomed in a refuge.

This has gone on to many women and children becoming displaced and even homeless. This is not the solution.

In saying that, we need to give the victim the choice to leave or stay with more focus needed in providing better services for victims of domestic abuse.

With the case of one of the 63 female victims of the past year, Leila Alavi made up to 12 attempts to gain accommodation in a woman's refuge.

Due to the lack of space available in NSW, she found herself without support, and subsequently killed. Her ex-husband is facing charges.

In the case of Tara Brown, who was allegedly run off the road and bludgeoned to death, if police were better assisted in their investigation procedures, perhaps her death may have been prevented.

It is alleged that she went to police with concern that her partner would harm her, and left the police station without sufficient support.

With the mandatory investigating of Domestic Violence incidents, police discretion is removed and every allegation within a domestic relationship must be followed up.

Police are obligated under the Act to take action and apply for a protection order, and it is up to the courts to then decide if the orders need to remain in place.

This is where more training is needed for our front-line staff, and is thankfully welcomed in this new proposal.

Tougher sentencing of these offenders will give police the right amount of confidence that these victims will be protected.

There is no one solution for these domestic crimes, but with the governments new plans we are one-step closer in handling these incidents better.

Topics:  dv, opinion, terrorathome, tj hamilton



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