GANNAWARRA Shire has made preventing family violence a key priority in its draft 2017/2021 Council Plan.
Councils across Victoria are legislated to include proposed measures into their strategic plans and Gannawarra Shire will work towards reducing family violence across their community over the next four years.
Mayor Brian Gibson said they are committed to working to address both attitudes and behaviours that contribute to family violence and to lead the way in promoting a welcoming, inclusive and safe community for all.
‘‘Council has responded to violence against women for many years through direct services such as Community Care and Maternal and Child Health,’’ he said.
‘‘Unfortunately the statistics keep rising and the Royal Commission highlighted some major shortcomings with how as a society we prevent and respond to family violence.’’
Cr Gibson said Gannawarra is seeing an increase in the statistics of family violence.
‘‘Gannawarra has a higher rate of family incidents compared to the whole of Victoria, with 2466.5 incidents per 100,000 population compared to 1302.1 for Victoria for the period October 2015 to September 2016,’’ he said.
‘‘These statistics are alarming and council are taking a stand and saying very clearly to our community that any form of violence is completely unacceptable.
‘‘Family violence is everyone’s responsibility and we need to involve everyone in the conversation if we are to turn the statistics around.’’
Gannawarra Shire are working in partnership with Northern District Community Health, Kerang District Health, Cohuna District Hospital, Mallee District Aboriginal Service, Victoria Police and the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership to address family violence across the shire.
There are a number of initiatives that will be rolled out over the coming weeks including a screening of the film ‘Call Me Dad’ in Cohuna on July 5, promotion of the National Stop it at the Start campaign that targets disrespectful attitudes and behaviours, and renewing and relaunching the Dunny Door campaign 1800 RESPECT.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT or Mallee Domestic Violence Service on 5033 1899.