Domestic violence: the hidden crime
By CRAIG McTEAR
TODAY, when you look at the women around you, spend a moment to reflect that one in four are victims of some form of domestic violence.
Known as the 'hidden crime', today is the United Nations' White Ribbon Day, dedicated to eliminating violence against women.
'Don't let domestic violence destroy your life' is the message from local police who will today don a white ribbon to raise awareness against domestic violence.
Coffs/Clarence domestic violence liaison officer, Senior Constable Phil Jacobson, said domestic violence was a significant problem in the region.
"It is one which commands a great deal of police resources," Const. Jacobson said.
"It's a growing problem, but it's also an unknown problem because unfortunately, it's a hidden crime that is not generally reported to police for a number of reasons.
"Sometimes it comes down to not understanding the system, but there is plenty of support out there with a number of organisations who help victims of domestic violence."
Const. Jacobson said domestic violence was a serious crime and significant community concern as it affected 'a lot more people than you think, especially the children who are involved'.
"The NSW Police Service is committed to reducing the incidence of violence against women," he said.
"They can contact me at Coffs Harbour Police Station to discuss their options. They can talk freely without their identity being exposed."
Alternatively, women can phone the Domestic Violence Help Line around the clock and obtain advice on 1800 656 463.
Coffs Harbour also has a women's resource and information centre that provides information and advice. The centre can be contacted on 6652 9944.
White Ribbon Day coincides with the launch of a NSW Police and Department of Community Services campaign which focuses on preventing and raising awareness of relationship violence.