Media Release: Domestic Violence in CALD Communities Must be a Police Priority

Monday 6 February 2012

Victoria Police must train frontline domestic violence response units in culturally sensitivity issues the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) said today.

ECCV’s comments comes in response to Victoria Police announcement that they will double police numbers to combat domestic violence.

ECCV Director Ross Barnett said consultations have shown domestic violence is widely under-reported in CALD* communities.

“The factors that contribute to the non-reporting of violence in CALD communities include personal issues, cultural and religious factors, language and institutional barriers,” Mr Barnett said.

 “CALD women in rural areas faced additional obstacles including physical and cultural isolation.”

Mr Barnett said CALD women who do report to police face additional challenges navigating the legal system.

“Many CALD women don’t have access to interpreters, legal service providers and translated information about their legal rights,” Mr Barnett said.

He added domestic violence units should partner with trained multicultural officers to address violence as part of a coordinated response strategy.

“ECCV has worked with Victoria Police for numerous years on domestic violence and anti-racism strategies,” he said.

“We welcome Victoria Police’s focus on this area as a key community priority.”

Mr Barnett is available for comment. Contact Sarah Hunt on (03) 9349 4122.

*CALD, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

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