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NSW government to tackle domestic violence issues with new campaign

Attorney-General Mark Speakman has launched a new campaign to encourage domestic violence victim-survivors to reach out for help.

user iconTony Zhang 24 June 2020 Big Law
Mark Speakman
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Mr Speakman said the poster, social media, and radio campaign is designed to speak directly to victim-survivors in places where they may be away from perpetrators.

“We know from victim-survivors and frontline domestic and family violence workers that one of the challenges during COVID-19 restrictions has sometimes been finding a safe place to ask for support,” Mr Speakman said.

“That’s why this campaign will be targeted at shopping centres including restrooms, near supermarkets and pharmacies, and at essential services such as hospitals and medical centres. These are places where victim-survivors may feel safe to contact the Domestic Violence Line or take down their number.


“The trained counsellors on the end of the phone are there for you. They will listen to you, they will believe you, and they will help you.”

The campaign features the words “Speak Out” painted on the lips of people of different ages and cultural backgrounds to highlight that domestic violence does not discriminate.

Domestic Violence has been a central issue for recent legal advocates for reform.

The Law Council of Australia labelled the majority report from the bipartisan legal and constitutional affairs references committee a “scanty literature review” in tackling domestic violence.

The Australian Bar Association (ABA) also expressed its disappointment, particularly with the inquiry refusing to consult with experts or survivors of family violence. Instead, its final report relied on the reviews of four previous inquiries into domestic violence.

Building on a $150 million support package launched in March, the Morrison government issued a draft terms of reference for an inquiry into domestic violence, which follows major backlash at the Senate inquiry’s failure to deliver substantive results for victims.

For NSW this campaign will build on the ongoing commitment to reduce domestic and family violence, including the recent NSW and Commonwealth investment of more than $21 million to boost frontline domestic and family violence services across the state in response to COVID-19.

Domestic Violence NSW’s interim chief executive Delia Donovan said that a direct approach to victim-survivors is vital as these offences are largely committed behind closed doors.

“Reporting abuse to the police is not always the preferred option, or perceived as a safe one by some victims,” Ms Donovan said.

“By speaking directly to victim-survivors through this campaign we can assure them that safe help is available and that they will be supported.”

The Domestic Violence Line can help victim-survivors develop a safety plan, find accommodation, including for their children, provide information about available services and advise on how best to contact police, lawyers and the courts.