This week has tipped the scales further for serious and immediate intervention for people in domestically violent situations. Even as I write this another domestic incident has taken place in Victoria.
Whilst I understand the need for the Government to concentrate on drug related issues such as the ice epidemic, the real emergency is in our homes and those toxic relationships that are tearing families apart and placing untold strain on the resources available to assist people in crisis.
"Domestic violence – not the budget – has become our national emergency"
There are many reasons people don't leave their very difficult home circumstances; from a misplaced sense of loyalty, to fear of the unknown – which is of course, understandable. Now – more than ever – it’s imperative to focus on offering a safe haven without the red tape that currently exists for emergency accommodation.
Domestic violence – not the budget – has become our national emergency and until we as a nation concentrate on supporting families in crisis we will continue to see these tragic incidents occur.
As lawyers we are conscious of assessing people in crisis and learn to pick up on what is not being said, rather than what is being told to us by our clients who may be considering separation or are separating.
It can become abundantly clear that some clients don't realise they are in the middle of something that can lead to tragic consequences. We as lawyers can only guide our clients but what would make our role easier in providing advice to clients in these circumstances is a proper government framework that can offer real hope to break free.
If you need help you can contact DV Connect via 1800 811 811 or if you are in danger now call 000.
For more general information, visit our Family Law page.
Leisa Toomey is a Practice group leader of Schultz Toomey O'Brien Lawyers – part of the Slater & Gordon Group. She is an Accredited Family Law Specialist with the Queensland Law Society.