Victoria Police defines recidivism as ‘events where police have recorded family violence against individuals or in locations on three occasions or more within the preceding twelve-month period’. As a result, three or more reports referring to a particular victim, perpetrator or location are described as recidivism.
WHW undertook a small project to explore the role of women’s services in responding to recidivism. Overseas research highlights the need to hold men accountable for their violence rather than focusing on removing victims from the violent situation. It may be easier to remove a victim than confront a perpetrator, but this approach means that victims bear the responsibility for the violence. WHW requires a minimum of one full time worker to work directly with women and collaboratively with police and men’s programs.
Melton police recently introduced a family violence unit and its role will be to respond to recidivism. We expect other police family violence units across the region to follow their lead.
Check out these three articles in the Age describing the need for increased funds for family violence support services.
22 August 2012 | The Age
At least a thousand children left traumatised after witnessing domestic violence in Melbourne each year are missing out on specialist counselling because of funding shortfalls. Women’s Health West said that in 2009-10… 3150 children in Melbourne’s west saw family violence. CEO Robyn Gregory said… WHW had government funding for only 1.6 full-time positions and was able to offer its specialist counselling service to only 86 of these children.
22 August 2012 | The Age
THE Coalition won office vowing to ”get tough on crime”. Recent crime rises are entirely driven by domestic violence… Yet the state budget ignored the associated needs of tens of thousands of victims of domestic violence. The agencies that work to protect them face a funding crisis… The latest $40 million blowout in the PSO program is about 13 times the total budget for Women’s Health West, the sole agency for domestic violence victims in Melbourne’s west.
21 August 2012 | The Age
VICTORIA’S domestic violence agencies are facing a crisis as cash-strapped services struggle to cope with a surge in cases, leaving women more exposed to violent situations. Robyn Gregory, of Women’s Health West, the only service agency in Melbourne’s west, said…it meant staff were being removed from managing women trapped in complex situations because they were responding to the crisis cases.