Government’s tougher stand on domestic violence welcomed: City of Stirling

THE City of Stirling supported more than 47 family and domestic violence (FDV) victims last month, according to community services manager Chris Brereton.

Mr Brereton said the City welcomed the State Government’s action plan announced last week designed to eliminate family and domestic violence in WA.

Child Protection Minister Helen Morton said the Freedom from Fear action plan put perpetrators on notice that any form of abuse against women and children was not tolerated.

Ms Morton said the action plan outlined five priority areas with 20 actions to increase the safety of women and children at risk, and to hold perpetrators accountable for violent and abusive behaviour.

Mr Brereton said while the government had improved the way the service system responded to victims, the system was “chronically underfunded” and struggled to keep up with demand.

“In the past financial year the City of Stirling had to turn away 220 women and 303 children seeking assistance,” he said.

“The City provided support to over 47 victims of FDV in the last month.

“This figure does not include all the domestic violence incident reports that are handled on a daily basis.

“Much time is also spent in assisting families when they leave to ensure they have a safe place to go to and ensuring they are still supported through the court system when they leave.

“One of the biggest challenges for the services is to source affordable housing, which with the high cost of rent is still a major concern for the families we support.”

Opposition women’s and children’s interests spokeswoman Simone McGurk said existing services were struggling to cope.

“Without putting the right amount of money into what we know works, the government’s strategy will just be words on paper,” she said.