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Evidence that Women Only Police Stations effective in combatting Domestic Violence, Presented to the National Policing Summit, Melbourne 5 August

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Responding to domestic and family violence, which account for around 41% of all homicides in Australia, is complex and challenging. Professor Kerry Carrington, the Head of the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, QUT, will present evidence to the National Policing Summit in Melbourne on 5 August, that women only police stations have been effective in combatting domestic violence.

Brazil was the first country to establish women’s only police stations in 1985 and now has 485. Since then, women’s only police stations have spread across Latin America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay. There are different models. Some are standalone civilian units, while others are part of the police force. Evaluations have found women only police stations enhance women’s access to justice, willingness to report, increase the likelihood of conviction and enlarge access to a range of other services such as counselling, health, legal, financial and social support. Another unexpected benefit is that the gender balance of police workforces has improved where women only police stations have taken hold, by providing improved career pathways for women police. This presentation draws primarily on those in operation in the Province of Buenos Aries, Argentina, established in 1988. The province now has 95 and aims to have 135 by 2017. Information about how they operate was obtained from visits to several stations approved by the Argentinian Minister for Security by Professor Carrington in May and June earlier this year.

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