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Gympie top cop calls on community denounce domestic violence

STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Inspector Jon Lewis looks over case files in his office yesterday.
STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Inspector Jon Lewis looks over case files in his office yesterday. Craig Warhurst

GYMPIE is not immune to domestic violence.

It's a message police Inspector Jon Lewis wants us all to remember.

"Police are regularly called to violence within the home," he said.

"Combating domestic violence is a priority for this patrol group."

Power and control: they are the two things Insp Lewis says form the basis of domestically violent relationships.

"It's about the perpetrator of domestic violence disempowering the aggrieved."

SIGN THE PETITION TO HELP END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

He said power and control manifested themselves in different ways from physical assaults, to psychological threats and intimidation, to financial control.

"We have seen cases where the (affected person) has had all self confidence removed," Insp Lewis said.

He said often the person affected by domestic violence was also isolated from friends and extended family.

He said while it could be a significant challenge for someone impacted by domestic violence to come forward for help, he urged them to do so.

"We do appreciate that in a lot of cases because of the aforementioned control (a person can feel) the aggrieved find it very difficult to seek help.

"We actively encourage people who are in situations where there is domestic or family violence to seek help; whether that's through the police or one of the services that are available in Gympie."

Insp Lewis said Gympie was highly fortunate to have a strong support network available in the region that those affected by domestic violence could access in times of need.

"From a community perspective, we have to stand up and refuse to accept that domestic and family violence is never in any way okay.

"Under no circumstances is domestic and family violence acceptable."

He called on the community to get behind people in domestically violent situations and help them find the confidence to speak up.

"(It is) spread across all classes of people in our community.

"Those who aren't impacted by it need to help make those who are confident to seek help without any stigma attached."

He referred to a speech by Victorian Chief Commissioner of Police Ken Lay.

"Imagine that each week an Australian is murdered at a train station.

"That week, someone's brother or sister, mother or father is violently killed getting on or off a train.

"Now picture the public response.

"It would be front page news... the word crisis would pepper out talkback.

"Now I have another figure - a real figure - that I think is just as horrific.

"A figure that is just as worthy of galvanising our sympathy and outrage.

"The figure is this: every week a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner," Chief Commissioner Lay said in his speech.

"Sobering thought, isn't it?" Insp Lewis commented.

Anyone affected by domestic violence can call centres including Scope on 5430 9300, Women's Information Service on 5482 7973 or Gympie and District Women's Health Centre on 5483 6588.

Topics:  domestic violence gympie terrorathome

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