Educating youth important for domestic violence prevention

DISCUSSION: Jenna Kennedy from Dalby Crisis Support talking with LNP members, Pat Weir, Ann Leahy and Ros Bates.
DISCUSSION: Jenna Kennedy from Dalby Crisis Support talking with LNP members, Pat Weir, Ann Leahy and Ros Bates. Michael Doyle

EDUCATING younger generations is an important step to reducing domestic violence, however opposition member Ros Bates said it would be "naive” to think it would eradicate the problem. Ms Bates, Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence and a survivor of domestic violence herself, was in Dalby last week as part of her trip around Queensland, in a bid to better understand the issues surrounding domestic and family violence.

Flanked by MP Pat Weir and MP Ann Leahy, the trio visited Dalby Crisis Support, talking to workers about a range of issues.

Prevention of domestic violence was one of the key talking points, with Ms Bates stating education in schools was a key addressing the problem but not the only solution.

"The Respectful Relationships program is currently available in schools in Queensland, but it is not mandatory,” she said.

"It is naive to think if we teach little boys to play nicely with little girls that we're are never going to have DV.

Ms Bates said she hoped domestic violence would not become "the norm” for the next generation from as it was when I was when she survivor. Ms Bates said the issue was a growing concern in Dalby, stating between 2014 and 2016, the number of cases had jumped by 65 per cent. Ms Bates said one of the factors hindering younger generations from engaging in "normal relationships” was the content they were exposed to on the internet. She said young men and women were engaging with content, in particular pornography, which was providing them with the wrong information about how to treat one another. Harsher penalties for domestic violence offenders was also outlined as another course of action to deter would-be offenders, as Mr Weir highlighted the growing number of cases in Dalby.

"Across the region, police are dealing with record numbers of breaches of domestic violence orders,” he said.

"In Dalby alone, we saw a big jump from just 70 in 2015 to 107 in 2016.”

Topics:  dalby domestic violence pat weir mp

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