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 Cowra 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 Cowra Information and Neighbourhood Centre (CINC) has started raising funds to create a domestic violence crisis centre in Cowra and wants our support.

CINC CEO Fran Stead said they had dealt with a high number of family violence cases in 2017 and believes it is crucial to get a crisis centre up and running in Cowra.

 “This is something we have spoken about for years and when we looked at our own family support figures for family violence at the end of 2017, we thought enough is enough, it is time for action,” she said. 

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

Tuesday marked 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 Cowra Shire Council area.

There were 62 incidents reported to police in the Cowra area in 2017. 

This is more than one incident of domestic violence per week.

But we know police attend many more call-outs each week.

Cowra’s rate of domestic assaults in 2017 was listed at 489.2 per 100,000, higher than the state average of 366.4.

On June 30, CINC will be holding a pop-up store, selling pre-loved clothes with all of the profits going towards establishing the crisis centre. 

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

Don’t leave it too late.