A study commissioned by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has revealed that juveniles in the Southern Highlands and South Coast region were among the least involved in domestic family violence incidents in the state.
The other nine regions analysed in the study were the Far West and Orana, the Central West, Coffs Harbour-Grafton, New England and North West, Hunter Valley (excluding Newcastle), Riverina, Sydney-Blacktown, the Mid North Coast, and Sydney-Outer West and Blue Mountains.
Data accessed by Fairfax Media suggests that the Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee councils had the highest number of juveniles accused of domestic family violence in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region in the past four years.
The rate per 100,000 population was the highest for the Goulburn-Mulwaree and Eurobodalla local councils.
But when compared with juvenile domestic family incidents in other regions, the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven was placed at the seventh position.
The highest cases were reported from the Far West and Orana, and the Central West regions.
Detective Acting Inspector Matt Packham, crime manager with the Hume Police District, which includes Goulburn and Southern Highlands police stations, said juvenile domestic violence cases were not prevalent in the district.
“Domestic violence is a cause of concern, but not juvenile domestic family violence, as the cases are not high in our district,” he said.
The study showed that both male and female teenage offenders were involved in domestic family violence (DFV).
“A total of 65.2 per cent of juvenile DFV assault offenders were male, with the average age being 15.3 years. The average age of female offenders was 15.1 years,” the study said.
“The majority (69.2 per cent) of victims of juvenile DFV assault were a member of the same family as the offender (parent, sibling or other family member). The most common relationship type was parent of the offender, with the second most common relationship type being a sibling.”
The study further revealed that most (80 per cent) incidents took place at the victim’s home.
The study said a parent’s “verbal reprimand or disciplinary action, such as restricting the young person’s access to phones and electronic gaming equipment” led to confrontation and physical violence.
“Other incidents in the home were in response to a parent’s refusal to comply with demands by the offender for money, cigarettes, transport or food,” the study said.
Liam Dooley, the executive manger of community development at the charity White Ribbon, which works to end men’s violence against women, said there are ways to reduce violence towards women and children.
“Regardless of your position in your community, or the importance of your relationships, there is no excuse not to speak up and act,” he said.
“We can’t leave it to the other guy or excuse the need for every man to role model the behaviour society expects.”