Domestic violence an 'immense' problem

For acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Murdoch, White Ribbon Day is every day.

Each year NSW police deal with 120,000 domestic violence-related incidents.

"That is by the far the biggest single-volume crime type we deal with," Mr Murdoch said, saying that "at best guess" only one-in-three incidents were reported to police.

Mr Murdoch, who also has the title of NSW Police Corporate Spokesperson for Domestic and Family Violence, has been praised for "waking up" NSW police to this issue of domestic violence.

"This is something I have had responsibility for in NSW for nearly four years and something I take very, very seriously," Mr Murdoch said.

"The scale of the problem has motivated me ... the more you get into it you realise the scale of the problem is immense.

"So many people's lives are affected by it, not just women, but their children ... for instance it is the biggest cause of homelessness among women.

"One woman across the country dies every week as a result of a domestic assault. Homicide rates across NSW have been in decline for the last five years - except those which are domestic violence-related.

"If I have woken up the organisation then so be it - it had to be.

"For me White Ribbon Day is every day and it needs to be."

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Mr Murdoch said White Ribbon Day was a great way of focusing men's attention on what was a man's problem, which was violence against women.

"Domestic violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women. Men need to get fair dinkum and say it is man's problem and men need to do something about it."

Mr Murdoch said domestic violence didn't discriminate by suburb or region.

"It is everywhere ... nowhere is immune from the problem."

On Saturday, Mr Murdoch visited Wollongong to launch cinema advertisements, designed to raise public awareness about the effects of domestic and family violence, in conjunction with the Illawarra's White Ribbon Day events in Crown Street Mall. The NSW Police Force Southern Region Command joined with local community organisations to develop the three 30-second advertisements that will screen in 15 cinemas.

The Southern Region Command co-ordinated the development of the advertisements, the idea for which originally came from the Nowra Domestic and Family Violence committee.

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