In an article in the ABC news it was reported that there has been a substantial increase in domestic violence related assaults during the Covid 19 pandemic. The article states that there were 9526 family and domestic related assaults reported to the police in the year 2020. This was compared with the 8587 which report were reported in 2019 thus equating to an 11% increase.
What is important is that between the periods of March and August, while we were on lockdown, 440 more domestic assaults were recorded. We need to be mindful that the number of domestic violence assaults has been at alarming levels for a number of years.
What is of concern is the number of children who are impacted by family violence. Children witnessing violence results in a lasting impact which will determine how they view the world and the types of relationships they may have in the future. We also need to consider the number of children who become motherless and parentless because their mother is murdered by the child's parent. These children will spend the rest of their lives with a family member or in foster care or residential care. The trauma of these experiences is just another layer on top of the violence and the death of a parent.
What makes this trauma even worse is that many children, who rely on their siblings for support, are separated and have little contact with other family members. We cannot understate the impact that family violence has on children and we should become more aware of the trauma created by the violence and its subsequent impacts.
The Child Protection Party wishes to raise further awareness of the damage done by violence and the subsequent placement of these children in the care of the State. It is important to focus on violence against women and it is equally important though to focus on the impact this has on children.