A study commissioned by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has revealed that juveniles in the Far West and Orana and the Central West regions had the highest rate of involvement in domestic family violence in the state.
The rate for the Far West and Orana region was the highest at 388.2 per 100,000 people aged 10 to 17 years and for the Central West it was the fourth-highest at 216.6 among the 10 regions identified in the study.
Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst and Cowra are some of the biggest areas in the Far West and Orana and the Central West regions.
The other eight regions analysed in the study were Coffs Harbour-Grafton, New England and North West, Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle, Riverina, the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven, Sydney-Blacktown, the Mid North Coast, and Sydney-Outer West and Blue Mountains.
The study showed that both male and female teenage offenders were involved in domestic family violence (DFV).
“A total of 65.2 per cent of juvenile DFV assault offenders were male, with the average age being 15.3 years. The average age of female offenders was 15.1 years,” the study said.
“The majority (69.2 per cent) of victims of juvenile DFV assault were a member of the same family as the offender (parent, sibling or other family member). The most common relationship type was parent of the offender, with the second most common relationship type being a sibling.”
The study further revealed that most (80 per cent) incidents took place at the victim’s home.
The study said a parent’s “verbal reprimand or disciplinary action, such as restricting the young person’s access to phones and electronic gaming equipment” led to confrontation and physical violence.
“Other incidents in the home were in response to a parent’s refusal to comply with demands by the offender for money, cigarettes, transport or food,” the study said.
Data accessed by Fairfax Media suggests that Orange, Dubbo and Bathurst had the highest number of juveniles accused of domestic family violence in the past four years.
However, the rate per 100,000 population was the highest for Orange, Cowra and Dubbo.
Central West Police District crime manager Bruce Grassick said they were closely working with an NGO (non-government organisation) in respect to managing DV-related incidents and are having joint protocol meetings to address any trends and individual cases.
“Central West PD have youth liaison officers and domestic violence liaison officers working with offenders and victims of DV, as well as multiple support agencies working in the DV space in consultation with police (Housing Plus, Youth on Track, etc),” he said.
“The Central West PD also piloted Safety Action Meetings [SAMs] under Safer Pathways and continues to chair SAMs covering the Orange LGA, which focus on reducing risk of serious threat of homicide or serious assault in DV situations. It actively targets DV offenders under the Suspect Target Management Plan.”
Liam Dooley, the executive manger of community development at the charity White Ribbon, which works to end men’s violence against women, said there are ways to reduce violence towards women and children.
“Regardless of your position in your community, or the importance of your relationships, there is no excuse not to speak up and act,” he said.
“We can’t leave it to the other guy or excuse the need for every man to role model the behaviour society expects.”