Murray Mallee officer-in-charge Superintendent James Blandford describes domestic violence as a “sickness” perpetuated when no one wanted to know about it.It is one of the most vile and horrific crimes in the region.
All day, every day, local police see adults and children pushed around, choked, locked out of home and abused sexually, emotionally, financially and psychologically.
Murray Mallee officer-in-charge Superintendent James Blandford described domestic violence as a “sickness” perpetuated when no one wanted to know about it.
“It’s terribly ostrich-like to shove your head in the sand and go ‘I don’t know anyone that’s being abused so why should I care’,” he said.
“You need to care because that’s not the society you want to live in, you don’t want to bring children into, and it is so widespread across the whole spectrum of the community.
“The people you’re working with, your friends, are covering up bruises and living a life of a horrible abusive relationship but they’re very, very good at masking it and putting up a facade that everything’s okay.
“From the very minimal type of abuse to the most serious form of abuse, it’s just vile; it’s not normal, it’s not expected, it’s not acceptable, it’s just a horrific crime.”
Coorong Mayor Neville Jaensch#homesafehome
Fortunately, the Murraylands community can take a stand against domestic and family violence.
“I hope the community actually just opens their eyes, opens their hearts and their attitudes and starts looking at the signs of people who are in need of support and gives it to them without being judgemental,” Superintendent Blandford said.
As part of the the region’s first domestic violence awareness campaign, Bridge Street in Murray Bridge will become a sea of white on Friday and Saturday as about 600 white balloons are displayed.
Also at schools, students will wear white, hear about the effects of domestic violence and make displays.
All football and netball players will wear white armbands for their matches on Saturday, while supporters are also encouraged to wear white.
The Imperial and Jervois football clubs will hold a minute silence before the league game and release one white balloon for each individual life to lost domestic violence in Australia this year.
River Murray Football League president Mick O’Hara said he was proud to dedicate a round of football to domestic violence awareness.
“We understand that domestic violence is an issue and we as a league want to make a stand to say that we will not accept it in our community and urge everyone to do the same,” he said.
Domestic violence is rife in the Murraylands with the number of reports continuing to increase.
Already this year 52 Australian women have been killed as a result of domestic violence and on average every three hours one woman is hospitalised in Australia.
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