LOCAL police are urging victims of domestic violence, or their family and friends, to speak up and report it in the lead-up to White Ribbon Day this Saturday.
White Ribbon Day is held annually on November 25 and is the international day for the elimination of violence against women.
Barossa Chief Inspector Alby Quinn said this time of year is a reminder that police stand with those impacted by domestic violence.
“White Ribbon Day is a big thing across Australia, and for us it is one of the things that signifies that we are there for the community, and we are there to listen to the community,” he said.
“People shouldn’t be afraid of coming to the police because we are there to support the victims.
“It doesn’t stop here, though, and we would encourage people if they are a victim of domestic violence, or may be friends of victims who aren’t prepared to report, to speak up on their behalf.”
The White Ribbon Foundation states that in Australia one in four children are exposed to domestic violence, and that it is the principal cause of homelessness for women and children.
“(Domestic violence) often impacts the victim plus the immediate family and/or others that are within that same environment where the domestic violence is occurring,” Chief Inspector Quinn said.
“It can drag families down.”
Chief Inspector Quinn said police are encouraged that various initiatives, such as White Ribbon Day, have helped to change general attitudes of the public, but there is still a way to go.
“Society’s mindset is starting to change and people are saying ‘we don’t tolerate domestic violence’,” he said.
“From a police perspective, we are very proactive in investigating instances of domestic violence, so we make sure that the victim and any other impacted people, such as children of the relationships, are protected adequately.
“It is really good, and encouraging, that people are now more willing to speak up and say ‘I have been a victim’.
“It means we can actually take steps to protect them, and deal with the perpetrators, or offenders.”
For more information on the day, visit whiteribbon.org.au
To find out how to report domestic violence, visit police.sa.gov.au/your-safety/domestic-violence