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Geraldton Police partner with DV Safe Phone, providing mobiles to domestic violence victims in the Mid West

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Kalgoorlie acting Senior Sergeant Chad Butler-Henderson says police are doing their job. Andrew Hall
Camera IconKalgoorlie acting Senior Sergeant Chad Butler-Henderson says police are doing their job. Andrew Hall Credit: Andrew Hall/Kalgoorlie Miner

A new program through Geraldton Police will provide victims of family domestic violence in the Mid West-Gascoyne with mobile phones for better assistance and contact with support services.

The family domestic violence unit has teamed up with Eastern States not-for-profit program DV Safe Phone, with family violence coordinator Sgt Chad Butler-Henderson registering the station to become a distribution point.

The program will allow victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse to apply for mobile phones, enabling frontline police to provide phones to survivors of family violence to maintain contact with support agencies.

Sgt Butler-Henderson said police had so far given 25 mobile phones with SIM cards to victims of family domestic violence across the district.

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“Often we see that the mobile phone is the first item destroyed in a family violence incident,” Sgt Butler-Henderson said. “The biggest break down in our referrals is the support services not being able to contact victims of crime.”

Sgt Butler-Henderson said there were family violence support services that offered access to mobile phones, however in some cases the administration could be demanding.

In 2022, there were 1208 cases of domestic violence in the Mid West-Gascoyne district according to WA Police, an average of more than three cases per day.

Engagement & Support unit officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Russell Hurst said with the family and domestic violence unit “working in overdrive trying to keep up with demand”, steps were being taken to improve the management of DV incidents.

“We’ve rearranged some priorities to ensure that police will have the availability to get out there and ensure they’re being complied with and if we identify they are not, the offenders will be identified and arrested,” he said.

“Sadly those incidences have an impact not only on the persons involved but the children and members of the public who see these incidences occur on a daily basis.”

Sen. Sgt Hurst said the family violence team was always ready to assist and had the contacts and documents to sign if required and urged victims to contact police.

“Domestic violence is simply unacceptable and we realise the impact that’s having on the community and it’s generational. If we don’t stop yt now, it will continue on to the next generation and we don’t want that to occur,” he said.

Help is available at 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)

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