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Family violence on the rise

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

Victoria Police is urging the community to dispel commonly-held beliefs about family violence and understand the realities, as the number of incidents related to the crime increases.

Family violence is a crime that affects all communities and doesn’t discriminate, with police continuing to respond to a high volume of family violence incidents every year across the state.

Figures from the Crime Statistics Agency show the number of family violence incidents has increaesd by 2.8 per cent in the year to June 2023.

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There were 93,115 family violence incidents recorded in Victoria.

On average, police respond to one family violence incident every six minutes.

Family violence takes many forms and is not just about physical violence. It includes coercive and controlling behaviour, threats, intimation, isolation, financial control and psychological and sexual abuse.

Family violence occurs among all types of families, regardless of gender, sexuality, income, profession, culture, ethnicity, religious or socio-economic background.

Family Violence Command Assistant Commissioner Lauren Callaway urged the community to dispel commonly-held beliefs about family violence and understand the realities  – because it was a crime that didn’t discriminate and took many forms.

“If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of experiencing family violence, please seek help from police or a support service,” she said.

“At Victoria Police, we believe you and we will take action to protect you and your loved ones.”

Ms Callaway said some myths suggested if a person was in danger and hadn’t left the situation then it wasn’t that bad, but there were many reasons that made it hard for people to leave, including the risk of harm to the victim and their children.

Family violence also affects children in many different ways.

Seeing violent behaviour can have significant impacts on children, including potential consequences for friendships and relationships, as well as participation in social and community life.

Victoria Police has progressively specialised its response to family violence – in recognition of the risk and complexity that incidents pose – and is calling on the community to understand the seriousness of the crime to help prevent it from occurring.

Police have established an enhanced investigative approach to family violence with the creation of 31 Family Violence Investigation Units, as well as enforce intervention orders to ensure victim safety and hold perpetrators to account.

Police not only provide safety for victims who make a report, they also refer them to support services, so they get the assistance they need.

If someone discloses that they are a victim of family violence, believe them and encourage them to contact police or a support service.

Support is available 24 hours a day through Safe Steps by calling 1800 015 188 or emailing safesteps@safesteps.org.au.

In an emergency, people need to call triple zero. If people can’t get to a phone, ask someone else to help make the call.

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