VIEW: Better protection urged by South Australia's victims of crime

ONGOING CRISIS: Despite million of dollars poured into measures - domestic, family and sexual violence continues. Photo: Shutterstock
ONGOING CRISIS: Despite million of dollars poured into measures - domestic, family and sexual violence continues. Photo: Shutterstock

Multi-million dollar state funds are still not enough to fix South Australia's domestic, family and sexual violence crisis.

The crisis is so real that the Australian Government's latest statistics reveal one woman is killed every nine days and one man is killed every 29 days days by a partner, with 25,000 sexual assaults recorded in 2017.

To add to the sad reality, this month marks the first anniversary of the tragic deaths of beautiful QLD woman Hannah Baxter and her three gorgeous children - all victims of domestic violence.

Locally, SA Police figures reveal that more than two per cent of SA women experienced partner-based violence in the past two years.

The figures reflect the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) January 2020 released data on partner violence, showing South Australia at 2.5 per cent compared with the nation's partner-based violence.rate of 2.7 per cent and sitting fourth in the nation.

While there's no denying the government funds are desperately needed, it is questionable whether the recent state government announcement of 'Record DV funding in SA' to the tune of $21 million is being channelled into where it is needed most.

Is its raft of measures including DV crisis beds, 24/7 hotline, life-saving DV app etc. and brokerage packages enough?

It seems not.

When Australian Community Media, owner of this masthead, in mid-January brought to light a $291 court intervention fee hurdle faced by women grappling with domestic violence, it resulted in more questions than answers.

ACM's story 'Plea for fee to be scrapped' went onto ignite concerns about the closure of a handful of country-based victim support service sites.

It further led to women reaching out to share their personal experiences to shine a light on the crisis.

In one case, a country SA victim of sexual crime said that "victims of crime and families in domestic violence relationships should be better protected without fearing for their lives".

Yet a series of calls and emails to state government-departments including the Attorney-General's office, to discuss the fee and closed country sites, led to no definitive answers.

Furthermore, ACM continued to be "handballed" from one state department to the next.

A clear example is a text message received on Wednesday, February 17, by Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink office who said they would follow up the matter with the Attorney-General's office.

A response is yet to be made.

Also, Shadow Attorney General Kyam Maher, who was approached by ACM last week to provide comment on the situation did not respond.

If a state media site is fighting for answers, what message does this send to our victims of crime who seek greater protection?

For immediate support call: DV Crisis Line: 1800 800 098 and Men's Referral Service: 1300 766 491.


This story OPINION: Victims want greater protection first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.