Editorial: Speak up on violence, it could save a life

IT IS an issue that many suffer with in silence, but we can’t afford to ignore it.

Domestic violence is happening in Tamworth and many of us probably know someone who is affected by it.

It is families, it is women and it is men – in many cases there are children aswell.

There are so many awareness campaigns and programs out there these days to encourage victims to speak up.

But what if they are too afraid? 

Then it should be up to us to do it for them.

The Tamworth Family Support Service is urging community members to raise their voice against domestic violence.

And while the old adage might be to “mind your own business”, in this case, speaking out could potentially save a life.

Tuesday marks the start of Domestic Violence Prevention month and our family support service is ramping up their campaign.

These tireless workers know all too well how prevalent the issue is within our community, and it takes a whole village to bring it to a stop.

According the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), rates of domestic assaults have remained steady in the Tamworth Regional Council area.

There were 344 incidents reported to police in the Tamworth area in 2017, slightly up on 2016’s tally of 336. 

This is almost one incident of domestic violence per day. But we know police attend many more callouts each day.

Tamworth’s rate of domestic assaults in 2017 was listed at 564 per 100,000, higher than the state average of 366.4.

The city’s crime manager Chief Inspector Phil O’Reilly recently urged people to report crime, even if you are not the victim.

“We must stand up, speak out and act,” he said.

”I encourage community members to speak out when they see violence happening. If you witness violence, keep yourself safe and call triple-0 in an emergency or police.”

He said police now had a number of recent initiatives and tools to help reduce the violence statistics with police issued apprehended violence orders high among the list.

As citizens, we have nothing to lose by speaking out and reporting domestic violence, you could be saving someone who has the potential to lose everything.

Don’t leave it too late.