The number of domestic violence deaths in the State has more than doubled to 21 in the past year, statistics released by the WA Women’s Council reveal.
Describing the statistics as horrifying, Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services chief executive Angela Hartwig said WA Police had responded to more than 40,000 calls to domestic and family violence in the past year and adequate resources were critical to respond to victims’ pleas for help.
The statistics show that of the 21 domestic violence deaths since November last year, which compared to 10 the previous year, 13 involved intimate partner violence. Women were the victims in eight of those cases.
Ms Hartwig said women and children were the primary victims of violence in the home and the risks they faced after leaving their situation needed responses to ensure their ongoing safety.
Repeating a call for the use of electronic monitoring in domestic violence cases involving bail, parole and breaches of restraining orders, Ms Hartwig said research in the USA had shown the devices significantly reduced levels of offending against victims in their homes and workplaces.
Women’s Interests Minister Robyn McSweeney said she was appalled every time she heard of a woman being killed in a violent situation.
Ms McSweeney said family and domestic violence remained a hidden problem and she had tried to put in place preventative strategies to stop the destructive crime.
She said the first Family and Domestic Violence Fatality Review process had been established, which it was hoped would identify causes behind domestic violence tragedies.
“I would urge anybody in the community to report domestic violence if they see or hear it occurring,” she said. “We need to stop these deaths.
“Over the past four years, the State Government has introduced a raft of reforms to help protect victims of domestic violence, including locating Department for Child Protection staff in police stations to support victims.”
The 22nd annual silent domestic violence march, which honours all those who have lost their lives, will start with speakers at 10.30am on Friday at Stirling Gardens before the silent walk through the city from noon.