Members of the NSW Police Force will mark the first of 16 days of activism against violence by joining a community walk in Sydney’s Eastern Beaches and commencing a proactive state-wide operation targeting high-risk perpetrators of domestic and family violence.
The ‘Step Out Speak Out’ walk, which is an annual event organised by Eastern Beaches Police Area Command and Randwick City Council, has been revised this year to be COVID-Safe with a small group of police and community identities taking part today (Wednesday 25 November 2020).
The group, led by Randwick City Council Mayor Danny Said and NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Domestic and Family Violence, Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones, will once again walk from High Cross Park at Randwick to Grant Reserve at Coogee to raise awareness about domestic and family violence.
Members of the community are encouraged to complete the walk in their own time and help share the message by taking a photo of the walk and posting, ‘I stepped out to end Domestic Violence #StepOutSpeakOut2020’ and tag Randwick City Council and NSW Police Force.
Today is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and marks day one of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, which culminates in Human Rights Day (Thursday 10 December 2020).
NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller said the first step in abolishing domestic-related violence is acknowledging the magnitude of its impact.
“Almost every Australian will experience some form of domestic or family violence – whether directly or indirectly – in their lifetime; this is a crime that knows no bounds when it comes to age, culture or socio-economic status,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“It’s also a crime that dominates the time and resources of police across the state, with officers responding to more than 145,000 domestic-related incidents in the 2019-20 financial year – or about 400 every day.
“Each year, about 25 people will die in NSW at the hands of someone who claimed to love them, and many more are seriously injured.
“These incidents are tragic and absolutely unacceptable, and why we – as a community – must stay committed to preventing violence of any kind.”
Year round, police stand against all forms of domestic and family violence and, in support of the 16 days of activism, will be running a state-wide domestic violence operation to disrupt and prevent recidivist offending and ensure the safety of victims.
The operation will see police across NSW conduct proactive checks targeting known offenders and provide additional support to at-risk victims, with assistance from the Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Teams (DV HROT).
The operation focuses on preventing further offences through Apprehended Domestic Violence Order compliance and other proactive domestic violence-related taskings.
NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Domestic and Family Violence, Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones, said it’s important to raise public awareness of this issue that affects people from all walks of life.
“Days like this are a significant reminder that police stand in solidarity with the community and are committed to helping victims of domestic violence and won’t hesitate in bringing perpetrators to justice,” Assistant Commissioner Jones said.
“It is important that people understand they have an obligation to report all incidents of domestic and family violence, not only to ensure perpetrators are held to account, but because it could save someone’s life.
“There is no such thing as an innocent bystander where this crime is concerned.
“Domestic violence extends beyond physical assaults; psychological, mental and emotional abuse that intimidates a person is also a form of violence.
“We hope we can give people the confidence to challenge and change the disrespectful values, attitudes and behaviours surrounding this criminal offence for which we have zero tolerance.”
If you, or anyone you know has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence, contact your local police. In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).
Support is available via the following helplines – Domestic Violence helpline 1800 65 64 63, 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.
For more information on domestic and family violence or links to useful resources, please visit; https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/crime/domestic_and_family_violence
Anyone with information about domestic and family violence-related incidents is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.