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Piecemeal approach to issues of domestic violence

News the State Government has allocated $12,060 to the Redfern Legal Centre to educate female victims of domestic violence is evidence of a piecemeal approach, says a local Redfern woman in the know reports Ben Falkenmire in the South Sydney Herald of October 2008.

Deputy Premier and Member for Marrickville, Carmel Tebbutt, said the grant money will be used to produce a DVD to educate victims of domestic violence about the police and court process.

“To be shared with other community support agencies, the DVD aims to enhance confidence in the legal process and reduce potential stress and anxiety for women dealing with domestic violence and the police and court process, as well as support mechanisms and services available for victims,” Ms Tebbutt said.  

Jane, not her real name for legal reasons, has suffered from the effects of domestic violence for the past 25 years. “This could seem like good news but it’s nowhere near enough when it comes to helping victims of domestic violence,” she said.

Jane said the current system for victims was inherently flawed because it was vulnerable to bully perpetrators of violence. From her experience, she suggested police should carry DV referrals which they can supply to victims.

“I didn’t know there were places I could go, like refuges. The very first time I saw someone, she said I didn’t have to be putting up with the abuse I was getting at home, but I didn’t know this. The police didn’t even tell me I could renew my violence order on my husband.”

“Let’s not accept that there’ll be a future of individuals terrified of facing the very system that is supposed to protect them, when they have already been terrified at the hands of someone else more powerful than them in their own homes,” Jane said.

Source: South Sydney Herald October 2008