Killings spark call for swift action on family violence

Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS

Survivors urge immediate action by the West Australian government after recent killings amid a surge in domestic violence.

Advocates met with the premier and deputy premier, senior WA police and other political leaders for an emergency summit in Perth on Thursday.

The Centre for Women's Safety and Wellbeing called on the government to establish a task force to review and address the crises of "public health" and "human rights".

"We've got women and children who are out there now living in fear ... women and children dying," chief executive Alison Evans told reporters after the closed-door meeting.

"It's absolutely a line in the sand ... so we've actually got to build a gold standard system and that's what we're all ... insisting on.

"We've got to take more action, and we've got to do it now."

The group also wants an independent, statewide body set up based on victims' experiences to advise on prevention strategies and programs.

It also wants better early intervention policies to stop violence from escalating and protect survivors.

Alison Scott, whose sister died in a domestic violence incident, said "lived experience voices" are not being heard, despite their insights into the problem.

"Our voices are not at the centre where they should be, they're not being listened to and we know what needs to be changed," she said.

The group is calling for improved crisis response including safe houses, legal and counselling assistance, and a round-the-clock domestic violence refuge.

It also says more housing is needed for victims and families escaping violent relationships, along with funding to train more support workers.

Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Sabine Winton pledged to continue working with the advocacy.

"One act of domestic violence is one too many," she said.

"Family and domestic violence is absolutely unacceptable. It must stop. It needs to stop."

Police Minister Paul Papalia said the community needs to work together to "stop the incidents" and "stop young boys who become men engaging in violence".

He said work was under way to prevent domestic violence and improve support for victims, and the government had heard in the meeting that those efforts need better co-ordination.

Mr Papalia also defended the police response to the issue saying there had been a massive cultural shift over the past decade, and there were now domestic violence teams across the state and every officer had received specialised training.

"But we can do more, we can do better and we're always looking for ways of improving our service," he said.

There are about 60,000 domestic violence related police call-outs and 70,000 requests for welfare checks per year, he said.

WA Police have previously said the number of reported family and domestic violence incidents was growing.

Meretta Kickett, the mother of Tiffany Woodley who died in an alleged domestic violence incident earlier in the month, said she had been trying to help her daughter and grandchildren escape her relationship for seven years.

"They failed to move her. They failed to actually get her help in hospital," she said, referring to her family's requests to social services,

"We are being targeted as women and children. Enough is enough."

Ms Woodley's severely injured body was found in her Perth home, triggering grief and outrage across the community.

Her death came days after the death of Georgia Lyall, who was allegedly killed by her former partner in a suspected murder-suicide.

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