Warning: This article contains an account from a domestic violence situation and may be distressing to readers.
“Police, what is your emergency?”
“My mum and my mum’s boyfriend are having a fight. And I just need someone down to stop them.”
It starts like this. It’s a distressing call that doesn’t end well. But it’s important.
You can hear the shouts in the background. You can hear the change in little Brodie’s voice as the fighting grows louder.
Calls like Brodie’s are answered by Safe Steps, a family violence response agency, every three minutes.
Safe Steps know this is hard for many to fathom, but what’s more difficult to comprehend is this:
In just two years, the number of women and children that need to be removed from a dangerous, potentially fatal, domestic violence situation has risen by 86.09%.
Note: This is a stock image.
It’s a distressing statistic. But what’s worse is this: More and more women and children present as high risk cases each day. If their partner has access to weapons, if the partner threatens to kill the woman, if a child is harmed. These all constitute high risk scenarios.
And if a woman is labelled as ‘high risk’, her children are at a higher risk.
“Children who are exposed to family violence while growing up may repeat this behaviour in their adult life. This shocking cycle of violence
MUST be stopped,” says Safe Steps CEO, Ms Annette Gillespie.
Safe Steps is the only organisation that operates throughout the day and night, available to women suffering in domestic violence situations.
With 50,000 phone calls a year, the organisation is growing by the day. And the need for assistance from the government is greater too.
“Yet, despite the promises for doing more, governments are slow in responding to our need for additional financial resources to support our work,” Ms Gillespie said.
50,000 phone calls. 50,000 women and children in need of help. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle. One that must be stopped. But without the right resources, calls like Brodie’s will go unanswered.
If this post has brought up issues for you, please call Safe Steps on 1800 015 188.