The Sun sat down with two women working in front line services, Kerry Kent and Shristi Prasad, to discuss the problem in Blacktown.
The area has the highest reported rate of domestic violence in Sydney, and one of the highest rates in the state.
Ms Kent is the coordinator of the North West Sydney Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (DVCAS), an organisation that is the first to hear from police after every domestic incident they respond to.
Between Blacktown and Windsor, Ms Kent said they receive an average of 317 referrals a month.
Their work primarily involves helping with apprehended violence orders (AVOs), assisting victims through the daunting court system. Every client has the opportunity to talk to a solicitor for free.
For matters including housing and financial support, DVCAS refer clients to other services including Blacktown Women’s and Girls’ Health Centre.
Ms Prasad, an intake leader and counsellor at the centre, said they deal with many of the practical concerns of case management.
“If a client’s not getting that sort of support they can feel really stuck,” she said.
“They might feel like there isn’t much hope or much help out there, and it might impact on their mental health, their physical health and their safety.”
Ms Kent said one of the most difficult parts of the job is seeing the same victims come back again.
“It breaks my heart to see clients six, seven, eight times going through the same process over and over,” she said.
“I think they think that’s the norm. I think they’ve had abusive partners in the past and they don’t realise what’s a healthy relationship, and what’s acceptable or normal.”
The women agreed more funding was needed to help victims in the crucial time period following a violent outburst.
While clients in immediate danger get priority service, the average woman waits one to three weeks to see a counsellor – in which time they may have changed their minds.
“As a general rule, after an incident a woman is ready to leave,” Ms Kent said. “They want to hear what you can do. But as time goes on, if things aren’t put in place, it gives [the abuser] an opportunity to get her back on side.”
Ms Prasad explained the cycle of violence is different in every circumstance, but that many abusive partners could often move quickly from an ‘explosion’ to remorse and back to the ‘honeymoon phase’.
This article was written by Harrison Vesey and was copied from here.