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General News

15 May, 2024

Free to Read

Too Close to Home

Domestic violence has never been a hotter issue. Across the country, rallies have heard the harrowing stories of survivors - and the families of those who did not survive. Women are being abused - and murdered - at a frightening rate, and otherwise faint voices are now screaming "enough is enough".


April* and her children. Photo: Brittney Carter
April* and her children. Photo: Brittney Carter

The statistics have names. Their pain is being shared across the country. The anger is palpable.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called it a national crisis, hosting an emergency cabinet meeting last week.

But still, that is not enough. Across the Wimmera, up to 15 incidents of DV are reported to police every day. The region's biggest centre - Horsham - is ranked the sixth worst local government area in Victoria for cases of these insidious crimes.

Up to 15 incidents of DV are reported to police every day.

Hundreds gathered in the town's Sawyer Park on Saturday for a candlelit vigil after a street march to shine a light on the issue. They reminded us that domestic violence - most often conducted behind closed doors - is closer to home than many of us realise.

Fortunately, many women do survive, although their psychological scars far outlast those they may have received from a brutish partner or assailant.

The Wimmera Mallee News today digs deeper into the issue which has galvanised so many.

And we hear from one woman who has not only survived years of abuse, but has become determined, strong and unbreakable as a result. We want her story to offer hope to those in our community who feel lost, hurt and betrayed.

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, recognised Australia wide. It is recognition long overdue.

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If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s behaviour, support services are available. 

If someone close to you discloses they are a victim of family violence, please believe them and encourage them to contact police or a support service.

  • 1800 Respect National Helpline on 1800 737 732

  • Lifeline on 131 114

  • DVConnect Women's line on 1800 811 811

  • Full Stop Australia on 1800 385 578

  • No to Violence runs a service which helps men who use violence to change their behaviour: 1300 766 491

  • Safe Steps on 1800 015 188 or by email to safesteps@safesteps.org.au

Victoria Police advises if you can’t get to a phone, ask someone else to do it for you.

If you would like to share your story through our newspapers, you can reach out to reporter Zoey Andrews by emailing zoey@wmnews.com.au

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