​“Childhood is for enchantment, wonder and joy. Not for the terror of violence in the home and community”, Bishop Philip Huggins, chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee said today in commenting on the latest Victorian crime figures.

“These figures show, as Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has said, that ‘family violence is insidious and stretches across all our data.’ He says in the past 10 years family violence-related crime against the person has increased by nearly 400%!”

Bishop Huggins said that hidden inside the statistics, which also show that reported assaults are up 10% on last year, “there is the sad reality of little children robbed of a stable, happy and peaceful childhood.”

“We know, too, the perpetrators are mostly males against females, with the children as terrified witnesses. If children’s home TVs and digital games are also emanating endless gratuitous violence, what is the effect on their imagination?”

Bishop Huggins said that domestic violence is such a critical issue for our society that it should be one of the key election issues. “Surely here is a matter of great concern for serious attention by our political leaders. Who has the strategy and the passion to prevent our society becoming more violent, robbing too many of childhood’s delight, and too many women of a peaceful life, safe home and community?”

The Diocese of Melbourne has created a major initiative called “Prevention of Violence Against Women”, which is providing important training to clergy and parishioners about what works to prevent violence, and what doesn’t. It is a step in the right direction, but the crime statistics show that it is only one of many strategies needed. For more information, visit http://www.melbourne.anglican.com.au/ServingCommunity/src/Pages/Prevention-of-Violence-Against-Women.aspx.

 

 

 

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