Violence prevention in City of Greater Bendigo spotlight 

VIOLENCE prevention will be in the spotlight at tonight’s City of Greater Bendigo council meeting.

A violence prevention plan that proposes to provide training to build the skills of maternal and child health nurses will be considered by council.

The plan will also ensure there is continual representation from council on the Family Violence Prevention Network. 

City of Greater Bendigo social research and policy officer Romina Lougoon said health and well-being consultation in 2009 revealed the community wanted to get serious about violence.

“Since then we’ve had a strong focus on preventing violence against women and this plan does pick up on other sorts of violence, too,” she said.

“It’s really important... during our health and well-being consultation the community said, ‘we want to do something about it’.

“It is a serious health issue that local government can do something about.” According to recent Bendigo statistics, police responded to 753 family violence incidents in 2010-11 compared to 420 incidents for the 2006-07 period.

The majority of victims were female and, commonly, victims were aged between 25-34 years.

Between December 2010 and December 2011 police reported an 18.6 per cent increase in assaults within the Bendigo region.

Local agencies are also seeing a rise in people accessing their services, which they say doesn’t necessarily mean family violence is increasing but more people are reporting it.

Centre for Non-Violence regional integration co-ordinator Robyn Trainor said the plan was an important step in the community working together to say “no” to violence.

“The City of Greater Bendigo, Mount Alexander Shire and Macedon Ranges councils have all taken an active approach in terms of violence prevention,” she said.

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