Poverty and violence

Jo Faith, Newtown

Thanks to The Echo for sharing the views of ex-Magistrate David Heilpern on domestic violence (DV), policing budgets, and social priorities. Over the years submissions have been made to Byron Council to seriously consider refuges for women and children fleeing DV.

Byron Shire is not exempt from this social curse and as recent events such as COVID-19 reveal, there has been a rise in DV. This not only affects women but also shatters the lives of children. They get little support in communities, or serious funding.

Consequently, the courts are filled with DV victims. Imagine if Byron Council could equalise its policy focus to embrace all of society? Significant time seems to be spent in supporting developers and ‘the high end’, promoting the shite ‘Byron Brand’, while little effort is made to fund the social consequences of rising inequalities.

When working in a refuge I saw the face of a young child who had just entered the facility and was encouraged to come outside and play.  His little face was locked in terror. He was inarticulate. His body rigid with fear and his eyes lifeless. This image has never left me. Time to rise up Council and address and remedy social inequality. House women, children and First Nations elders.


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