Front line workers will be equipped with essential skills to assist victims of domestic and family violence with a new skills development opportunity launched by Minister for Women Pru Goward recently.


Ms Goward said social service sector staff now have the opportunity to achieve formal qualifications at TAFE NSW through It Stops Here, the landmark domestic and family violence reforms launched in February 2014.


“Frontline community workers play an incredibly important role in identifying victims in violent relationships and helping them seek support,” Ms Goward said.


“The It Stops Here! Skills Development Strategy is a valuable opportunity for those in the social support sector to develop their skills and ensure they are equipped with strategies to assist the most vulnerable domestic and family violence victims.”


The initiative will offer new qualifications through recognition of prior learning, together with attendance at comprehensive workshops.


Ms Goward said today’s announcement is during the peak time for domestic and family violence incidents, with the highest number of reports to police during December and January.


“For too many women and children, the arrival of summer holidays means the arrival of fear and violence,” said Ms Goward.


“For the past 14 years December and January have recorded the highest number of reports to police of domestic and family violence.


“Last December there were almost 3,000 reported incidents of domestic violence, which was 500 more cases than October and November combined.


“This is a sad reminder that while most families are enjoying precious time together, behind closed doors many women and children are suffering from horrendous violence.”


Ms Goward said at-risk men and women who feel vulnerable should seek help, and report incidents to the police.


“If you or a friend is experiencing domestic or family violence you should report the incident to the police, and also reach out to the Domestic Violence Line for help,” Ms Goward said.


“The NSW Government also supports a confidential 24/7 men’s referral service helpline which helps men change their behaviour and address violence in their relationships.”


To seek help call the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.


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