SHAME and fear should never stop women from reporting domestic violence, according to police and women’s rights groups.
The Orange Domestic Violence Action Group, including representatives of Canobolas Local Area Command police and members of the Benevolent Society and Orange Aboriginal Corporation for Women, ran a barbecue outside Ashcroft’s Supa IGA on Friday to raise awareness.
Across the command, 948 domestic violence-related incidents have occurred so far this year, with 188 apprehended domestic violence orders applied for.
According to Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) figures, Orange ranked 14th highest in 2013 for domestic violence-related assault out of 140 local government areas in NSW, with 294 incidents recorded.
Canobolas Local Area Command domestic violence liaison officer David Rees said country areas were more prone to the problem because education was not as strong.
“But the lower [the figure] is, people aren’t reporting it and they’re keeping it behind closed doors,” he said.
BOCSAR data also revealed the main areas of reporting fell within the central business district, Glenroi and Bowen areas.
Senior Constable Rees said people in higher socio-economic areas were less likely to report domestic violence.
“It’s because Mr and Mrs Smith don’t want the neighbours to know, they don’t want police cars out the front of the house and they’re ashamed of it,” he said.
“Women shouldn’t be ashamed of domestic violence and it shouldn’t be acceptable.”
Orange Aboriginal Corporation for Women chair and Benevolent Society member Debbie Spicer said the issue was difficult because women wanted the violence to stop, not the relationship.
“When I go to higher socio-economic communities, they deny it, they’ve got more to lose financially,” she said.
“Women think it’s their fault, but if they realise they’ve lost power and control and their partner’s gained it, they can find an end to it.”
Senior Constable Rees said services were available through Operation Courage to help women through the process.
The White Ribbon campaign invites men to swear an oath never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
For more information, visit whiteribbon.org.au.