Recognising that the current restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic may pose barriers to reporting family violence, Victoria Police has released videos in different languages including Punjabi, to reach out to multicultural communities and reinforce the message that "there is no excuse for violence".
Family violence is recognised as a serious problem in Australia, and experts believe that with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in place, victims are at greater risk of being in closer contact with potential perpetrators.
Acknowledging the barriers that Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities face in reporting family violence, Victoria Police has released a video in many languages including Punjabi, providing information on how to seek assistance from support agencies during these challenging times.
Detective Senior Constable Paramjot Singh has lent his voice to the video in Punjabi, saying it contains an important message for multicultural communities.
Highlighting the statistics, he told SBS Punjabi, "Data collected till December 2019 shows that Victoria Police attended 84,550 incidents of family violence last year alone."
This equates to 232 incidents per day, and one every six minutes.
"We acknowledge there maybe under-reporting of family violence in migrant communities for various reasons - there could be cultural pressures, language barriers, visa issues and many other reasons why migrants don't report incidents of family violence to police."
A video campaign attempts to address this gap and encourages everyone to seek help, especially in the challenging current environment.
"There are many support agencies like Safe Steps and In Touch who can provide assistance, and of course if there is any incident of physical, psychological or financial abuse within the family home, it must be reported to Victoria Police. We can take all the steps necessary to ensure your safety," says Detective Senior Constable Paramjot Singh.
To hear the full interview, please click on the audio link above.
If you need assistance, the following helplines can be accessed - they have an interpreter service too.
Safe Steps 1800 015 188
In Touch 1800 755 988
Police / Emergency 000
To watch the video mentioned above, click on the link below.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.
Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.
SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus