Corangamite Shire wants to shine a light on family violence

AS an employer, Corangamite Shire councillor Neil Trotter encountered domestic violence and didn’t know how to address it.

Cr Trotter’s comments came as the council backed the Great South Coast strategy to prevent violence against women and children.

With 764 reports of family violence in Corangamite Shire in the past 12 months, the south-west ward councillor said domestic violence was something that for years had gone under the radar and it was time to shine a light on it.

“I’ve been told that every man knows probably three cases, at least three cases of domestic violence, or has had experience of it,” he said.

“As an employer I knew of cases. I had staff members that were subjected to it and I didn’t know how to deal with it in those days. 

“It was something that was swept under the carpet and you were looked upon as interfering if you spoke out or took action. It’s something that has to be dealt with.” 

Cr Trotter said education was crucial to addressing family violence.

Cr Wayne Oakes, a retired policeman, said he fully supported anything that would go towards addressing family violence.

“Years ago people who were victims of domestic violence were basically, although it was probably not said straight to their face, but basically expected to shut up and put up with it,” he said.

“As a person who worked in the industry, if you could call it that, for roughly 35 years and having a lot of personal hands-on involvement with victims, both male and female of domestic violence, it is my fervent hope that a policy like this will go a long way to mitigate that type of future behaviour.” 

Corporate and community services director David Rae said prevention of violence against women was a key objective in council’s health and well-being plan.

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