THE state government has announced a frontline response boost which will see the introduction of 14 specialist family and domestic violence officers across WA in an effort to curb family and domestic violence.
The announcement was made by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Sabine Winton and Police Minister Paul Papalia last week ahead of an expected spike in family and domestic violence rates over the Christmas period.
The aim of the 14 new roles, dubbed family safety officers, is to enhance existing family and domestic violence response teams (FDVRT) and to provide coordinated family and domestic violence response services to victim-survivors and perpetrators.
According to WA Police, figures show a steep rise in reported family violence incidents during the Christmas holiday period when compared to the daily average.
“There is no doubt family and domestic violence is major problem in Australia and here in WA, and tragically, we know that the Christmas-New Year period sees a rise in these incidents,” Ms Winton said.
The new family safety officer positions are already active within FDVRT teams in Midland, Perth, Joondalup, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and South West and will soon start in Mirrabooka.
“By creating new specialist frontline positions, we are boosting our response to family and domestic violence. These positions will provide a dedicated response to high-risk, high-harm cases of family and domestic violence and will be a key interface between existing support and the local community,” she said.
Ms Winton said everyone has the right to live free from this violence.
Mr Papalia also addressed the increase rates of family and domestic violence at this time of year.
“Police do an incredible job responding to these abhorrent crimes, but we all need to play our part,” he said.
“I urge people to speak up if they have safety concerns for themselves, loved ones or neighbours.”
People experiencing family and domestic violence can call the Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 007 339, Men’s Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 000 599, or the national Helpline 1800 RESPECT.