JOINT MEDIA RELEASE - HELPLINE TO TACKLE VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Written on the 28 June 2017 by Kevin Conolly

Practical advice and intervention support are now available for parents, friends and colleagues who are concerned that a loved one may be heading down the path of violent extremism.

Members for Riverstone and Seven Hills, Mr Kevin Conolly MP and Mr Mark Taylor MP welcomed the launch of the NSW Government's new free service, operated by trained counsellors, as part of a $47 million package of programs designed to fight violent extremism.

"Family and friends are usually the first to know when a person is being exposed to violent extremist influences." Mr Conolly said.

This resource will help them spot the warning signs, and divert and protect an individual from violent extremism before law enforcement needs to get involved," Mr Taylor said.

Minister for Counter Terrorism David Elliott said violent extremism was an emerging issue in NSW.

"We do not know or fully understand the motivations or processes that lead a vulnerable person down this path," Mr Elliott said.

"However, behavioural changes that may be of concern include increased social isolation or withdrawal, or intense political, ideological or religious interest."

"If you are concerned about someone you know, please do not hesitate to call the helpline for information and support services that may assist you."

The advice and support helpline will be complemented by existing initiatives including:

Specialist school support teams to assist vulnerable students

Improved incident reporting of violent extremism in schools

Bringing community leaders into schools to promote social cohesion

Funding events which bring together people of different backgrounds

Concerned community members can call Step Together on 1800 875 204 between 7am-9pm, seven days a week or visit steptogether.com.au.

Step Together is a counselling service only.

To report a crime, call your local police on 13 14 44 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Author: Kevin Conolly

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