Australia police arrest 554 people in domestic violence crackdown

By AFP   May 20, 2024 | 03:40 pm PT
Police in Australia’s most populous state announced on May 20 that they had arrested and charged 554 domestic violence suspects in a four-day operation, as the country reckons with a series of high-profile attacks on women.

New South Wales police said some of "the worst domestic violence offenders" in the state had been rounded up, including one man who allegedly stamped on a woman, causing fractured ribs, facial injuries and a bruised kidney.

The arrests come as Australia grapples with the violent deaths of 28 women in 2024 – an average of one death every four days. Only 14 women died in the same period in 2023.

A series of high-profile attacks on women –including the stabbing of five women at a Bondi mall– have thrown the focus on gender-based and domestic violence.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called it a "national crisis", while announcing measures to curb deepfake pornography and increase funding for women fleeing abusive relationships.

Intimate partner homicides have gradually declined in the past 30 years, data from the Australian government shows.

And Australia’s domestic violence prevalence rate still remains below the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development average – and lower than that of Canada, the United States and Britain, according to 2023 data.

But domestic violence services have long warned that more needs to be done.

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