Coast Shelter has launched a paper outlining its position on domestic and family violence, aiming to bring greater focus and attention to the issue and to create solutions to help break the cycle.
CEO of Coast Shelter, Michael Starr states, “Seismic change is desperately needed to keep families safe, reduce perpetrator reoffending rates and to end the cycle of homelessness caused by domestic and family violence. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home and victims must be heard in policy and program design across the nation”.
The paper outlines six key areas the government and industry need to invest in to curb this crisis, which includes education programs for youth to tackle root causes of violence and abuse before it even starts.
Starr continues, “The Government must invest in a raft of primary prevention strategies to stop the violence, abuse and neglect. It’s vital we build in early intervention education programs into our tertiary institutions to help foster a help seeking culture and raise awareness amongst our young people about what is and what isn’t healthy and acceptable in relationships”.
Coast Shelter believes NSW needs a strategy to reduce the rate of domestic and family violence assault reoffending. According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research, the number of people in NSW reoffend with a domestic violence assault within 12 months of another domestic violence offence, increased to 1900 people in May 2021. This is the highest level since December 2015.
Starr states, “Coast Shelter is committed to continue to prioritize support and assistance for victims of domestic and family violence. It is our hope the government will listen to our concerns and make the necessary changes to improve the safety of the most vulnerable in our community.”
You can read the position paper which includes the results of a Queensland University of Technology Centre for Justice survey of 362 domestic and family violence agencies and individuals here:
Coast Shelter is planning a stakeholder engagement event in late March/early April to discuss the paper and workshop how we can work together as a community to drive change. To express interest or find out more about Coast Shelter’s homelessness and domestic and family violence services visit www.coastshelter.org.au or call (02) 4325 3540.