Family and domestic violence was a factor in 37 of the homicide offences committed in Western Australia last year - the largest number of such offences recorded in any state or territory.
That is why the McGowan Government's 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign is so important.
Now in its third year, the campaign runs from November 25 to December 10 to raise awareness of the problem and challenges people to take positive actions.
In my role as WA's first Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, I have visited refuges and safe houses across the state.
Family and domestic violence has social, economic, health and welfare costs for individuals, children, families and their communities.
This violence is unacceptable and we all need to take a stand.
The uncomfortable truth is that women are much more likely than men to experience violence in their own home and at the hand of someone they know.
Read more from the Mandurah Mail domestic violence series:
- 'It's an awful thing': Mandurah domestic violence victims left homeless
- 'The laws are the issue': Police praised by domestic violence support workers
- 'Concerning': Demand for family violence services increases in Peel region
- 'Heartbreaking and frustrating': Calls for refuge to support DV victims in Peels outer region
- 'Great benefit': Mandurah police and domestic violence workers celebrate second refuge
A recent report found that early signs of intimate partner violence were not being recognised by women living in country areas, so they were not leaving a relationship before it escalated.
Another concerning, but perhaps not surprising, finding of the report suggested country women were often apprehensive about seeking professional support because of their tight-knit communities.
This year's campaign encourages every West Australian to speak out to stop violence against women.
You can make a difference by talking to family, friends and colleagues about respectful relationships, or by hosting a 16 Days in WA event to raise awareness.
- If you need help with domestic violence, contact 1800 737 732 or phone the crisis care family helpline on 08 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008. In an emergency, phone 000.
Simone McGurk is the WA Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence.