A Griffith man has called on the community to take action against domestic violence, proposing a new idea to ensure perpetrators face the social consequences of their actions.
From October 2015 to September 2016 Griffith recorded 245 domestic violence related assault incidents, making it the ninth worst location in the state, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
It is a situation Brett Naseby has long been troubled by - when those convicted of domestic violence crimes don’t always face the ramifications of being identified in the local community, due to the necessity of protecting their victims from being identified. “They are able to go about their work, about in the community...these people can be employed and well-respected,” he said. “There’s no social recriminations … they haven’t been judged in the community for what they have done.”
Mr Naseby called on the community to take ownership and responsibility of the problem, suggesting employers request police checks before employing someone, to ensure they haven’t been found guilty of a domestic violence related crime.
The idea itself is not unique with a pilot program already under trial, allowing women to check if their partners have a history of abuse. “If I was an employer I would want to know if I had a person who was a dangerous person, a woman abuser … and I for one would think twice about employing someone with a proven criminal record in that area,” Mr Naseby said.
As a caseworker with the Riverina Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service, Anne Jones, has seen her fair share of the consequences of domestic violence in the local community. On Tuesday she said while Mr Naseby’s idea had merit, it may face privacy and other difficulties, but agreed the community needed to work together to eradicate domestic violence.
With the work of the local domestic violence committee doing its bit to help raise awareness, Ms Jones emphasised the importance of people understanding the difficult road faced by victims of domestic violence in seeking justice and the importance of protecting them from being identified. “I would say at least 90 per cent of matters that go to hearing don’t happen quickly,” she said. “It could be months down the track...and it is traumatic, the whole community is there and having everyone know what is happening can make the situation even more stressful.”