Domestic violence statistics in the Hunter “devastating”


The Newcastle Domestic Violence Committee (NDVC) has raised alarm bells following the release of the latest crime statistics.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) released their quarterly update earlier this week that showed across the state the two offences trending upwards over the past five years were domestic violence-related assault which was up 3% per year on average, and sexual assault which was up 7% per year on average.

While not all LGA’s saw an increase, their stats were stable, meaning that across the Hunter Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) and Sexual Assault is not decreasing.

NDVC said the statistics are “devastating”.

Looking at the two year trends, domestic violence related assault is up 35% in Maitland.

The five-year trends show sexual assault being up 15% in Maitland, up 10.5% in Newcastle and up 12.4% in Port Stephens.

Lisa Ronneberg, Chairperson of the Newcastle Domestic Violence Committee, said every person in the Hunter region should be horrified by the statistics.

“We also know that there is a significant percentage of DFV and Sexual Assault victims-survivors who do not report, so the actual rates in our region are much higher.

“We need an immediate, long term, increase in funding for specialist Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Services to support victims-survivors. And we need to throw everything at prevention, generational change, structural change, attitudinal change, behaviour screening and assessment, early referrals, early intervention and prevention programs, and services working with men who have used violence.

“If we don’t address a long term increase in funding to both specialist DFV and Sexual Assault services and to prevention strategies, programs, and services, then nothing will change, and those upward trends will continue.”

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