Hotline aims at home violence

IN a region where rates of domestic violence are a shocking 30 per cent above the State average, it is hoped a new hotline will combat the appalling statistics.

Already fielding 200 calls a day, the free-call Victims Access Service is assisting victims and their families get the crisis support and specialist advice they need.

Coffs Coast is among the worst regions in NSW for domestic related arrests and apprehended violence orders (AVOs) and local social workers have welcomed the new information service.

Last year, Coffs Harbour was listed by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics as a higher risk for domestic violence than South Western Sydney.

Already unacceptably high, the region’s domestic violence figures have increased by 14 per cent in the past two years.

NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said the service was also helping to explain the justice process.

“Victims of crime have experienced enough trauma and need all the support we can offer them to move on with their lives,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

“Anyone who’s been a victim of crime can call the Victims Access Line and receive confidential advice and support from trained officers who specialise in working with victims,” he said.

By calling the hotline, victims can choose from 24 hour-crisis support and intervention, counselling services, assistance in compensation applications, victim impact statements, and complaints about breaches of the Charter of Victims Rights and information about accessing court support services.

Homicide Victims Support Group spokesperson Martha Jabour says victims should remember the hotline is there for people at a time when they should not have to struggle for answers.

Victims of crime in NSW should call 1800 633 063 or go to www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/vs



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