Police Accused Of Failing To Protect 19-Year-Old Domestic Violence Victim

The victim’s housemate claims NSW police only promised to investigate after a Facebook post went viral. WARNING: Graphic content

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A 19-year-old woman has accused New South Wales Police of failing to protect her after she was allegedly assaulted by her partner in Sydney's west in the early hours of Saturday 12 December.

Photos of Ashlee Savins with chipped teeth and a bloodied face were circulated on Facebook on Sunday after her housemate, Ellie Sutton, posted about the incident which left her with a broken nose.

"She woke me up in the middle of the night like this, crying for help," wrote Sutton. "Police have now told her they are not going to take matters further because he told them she 'fell on her face' and 'it's her word against his' and there is insufficient evidence."

Sutton told BuzzFeed News police were very supportive on the night of the incident but she did not hear from them again until Sunday afternoon.

"We really thought they were going to do what they said... when they did contact us they said that he [the partner] had a different story to ours, so they wouldn't be taking it further."

"I knew something more had to be done about this and that's when I did the Facebook post. They acted only because of the Facebook post."

Sutton also said that police had asked her to take down the Facebook post saying it could infringe on the investigation. She refused.

Sutton said that police then called them into the station on Monday, and asked if they'd been given a temporary AVO against Savins' partner. When it was revealed that they had not, Sutton said police were shocked.

Savins also confirmed to BuzzFeed news that it was "110%" true that police had initially told her they would be taking no further action.

The St. Marys Police Station Facebook page has since been inundated with 1-star reviews from the public, many with friends or relatives who have also experienced domestic violence.

Savins' housemate's Facebook post has since been shared thousands of times as hundreds of comments calling for more action from police have amassed.

A NSW Police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News both parties had been interviewed and that inquiries were still continuing while police investigate the full circumstances of the incident.

If you or someone you know requires assistance contact White Ribbon here, in an emergency ring 000.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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