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Family violence - message ahead of festive season

Monday, 21 December 2020 04:21

The holiday season should be a time for celebration. Sadly, we see a peak in family violence.

Victoria Police is asking the community to look out for friends, family and neighbours with calls for help relating to family violence expected to peak during the holiday period.

The latest statistics show that police responded to over 90,000 family violence incidents in a 12-month period (to September 2020) – that’s one call for help every six minutes.

in the past four years, December and January have consistently seen the highest number of family violence reports compared to the rest of the year.

In 2019, police responded to 225 reports of family violence, on average, every day. Last Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, police responded to 335 and 484 reports of family violence respectively.

Family Violence Command Assistant Commissioner Lauren Callaway said these crimes are unacceptable at any time of the year.

“This is supposed to be a time of celebration, but we know sadly some will be subject to physical, emotional or psychological abuse – often offended against by someone they love or trust,” AC Lauren Callaway said.

“This year in particular presented circumstances that not only placed victims of family violence in more vulnerable situations but created barriers for victims who may have wanted to seek help.

“Throughout this period, protecting victims of family violence and holding perpetrators to account has remained a priority for police and this will continue throughout December and January.

“We’re here to help, but the community also have a role to play. Third-party reporting remains critically important, especially in a time where we know victims have found it harder to reach out for support.

“We urge everyone to bring much-needed awareness to gender-based abuse, recognising and challenging the attitudes that normalise it. “Anyone can be a victim of abuse. We are asking the community to reflect on their own behaviour and urge them to seek support if they recognise that some of their behaviours constitute family violence.

“Everyone has a right to live free from violence. We are calling on the community to be a part of putting an end to violence in our homes.”

If anyone is concerned about their safety or feels they are at risk in their family circumstances, support is available. safe steps offer confidential 24/7 support and can provide advice about safety planning and emergency accommodation to keep victims safe from family violence.

For a consultation with a family violence crisis specialist email safesteps@safesteps.org.au, or call 1800 015 188 if it is safe to do so. Victims can also apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order online through the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. If you require immediate police attendance, always call Triple Zero (000).

Reviewed 22 December 2020

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