Campaign hopes coasters start a discussion

LET’S TALK: Nowra Police Constable Melissa Harrison and Inspector Susan Charman-Horton support a new campaign against domestic violence.

LET’S TALK: Nowra Police Constable Melissa Harrison and Inspector Susan Charman-Horton support a new campaign against domestic violence.

DOMESTIC violence-themed drink coasters and posters will soon be in hotels to bring the issue of abuse out from behind closed doors. 

NSW Police and the Australian Hotels Association NSW joined forces to create the campaign.

More than 600,000 coasters have been printed and distributed across NSW and electronic posters will be displayed on digital signboards within the hotels.

Nowra Police inspector Susan Charman-Horton said Shoalhaven Local Area Command had a specialist section that dealt with domestic violence.

“Shoalhaven also has a community-based support unit,” she said.

“However we can only help in this situation when we know it is occurring. Police are always available to help put an end to it when we are advised about it.”

The campaign was launched on Wednesday by Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres, who said something as simple as a coaster could be what it took to generate a discussion among mates.

“Domestic violence can no longer be a taboo. We want people talking about it, whether it’s at a restaurant, bar or a pub – domestic violence is not on,” the minister said.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch was also at the launch. 

He said while most domestic and family violence occurred in the home, the impact was felt by the entire community.

“This needs to be brought out from behind closed doors,” he said.

“We hope the coasters will act as a conversation starter among family, friends and acquaintances, forcing the issue into the public space. 

“If we can remove the shame or embarrassment for victims by breaking the taboo surrounding domestic violence, we believe more people will be comfortable to report it to police.

“It’s only when we know it is occurring that we can help someone and put an end to the violence,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.

Phone triple-0 to report domestic violence if you have fears for your own, or somebody else’s, immediate safety.

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