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Get the latest news about Chris Hayes MP and the Fowler Electorate


June 06, 2014

Chris Hayes, Federal Member for Fowler, joined forces with Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) to launch an innovative diagrammatic brochure as part of the national anti-family violence campaign.

The campaign titled: "Community safety is everyone's responsibility" was launched at Freedom Plaza in Cabramatta and sent a strong message nationally that Family Violence is a community issue that cannot be ignored.

"Family Violence is a serious issue to communities and law enforcement agencies throughout Australia. With a reported 17% of women and 6% of men having been subjected to violence by current or former partner it is clear that domestic violence is a national issue that needs to be urgently addressed", Mr Hayes said.

Representatives from the local police commands, Liverpool and Fairfield Migrant Resource Centres, Fairfield Council and other local organisations attended the launch. They will assist with distributing the brochures together with the Neighbourhood Watch Networks.

The two brochures, target ethnic communities through visual representation of actions that need to be taken, by the victims and community members, when domestic or family violence occurs. Importantly, they also contain important contacts for emergency and police assistance.

"Our organisation aims to create safe and vibrant communities. It is important that our safety messaging is able to reach all our community members, including those new to Australia" said CEO Ingrid Stonhill. "Whilst we will be producing a range of diagrammatic safety messaging we decided to tackle this difficult, but very important, community issue first".

Mr Hayes, who is the co-chair of the Parliamentary "Friends of Neighbourhood Watch" group, said language and cultural barriers in his highly multicultural electorate can pose serious issues when it comes to communicating important messages including those related to domestic violence.

"This is why Neighbourhood Watch Australasia took the initiative to develop information resources specifically designed to target ethnic communities, largely containing visual forms of communication", he added.

One of the main messages communicated via the new brochures is that family violence is not a private issue. Witnessing it requires community members to speak up and alert the police.

"NHWA has a vital role to play to ensure the consistency of community safety messaging across all Australian communities", said NHWA President Patricia Leary, "whilst tackling a difficult subject it is important we extend our reach into our communities and this is an innovative approach to achieve that ".

The diagrammatic brochure has been developed by NHWA in conjunction with experts in the field based in Victoria. Consultation took place across all policing and NHW jurisdictions.