AUSTRALIA Day is meant to be a time for celebration but historically it’s a time for family violence, according to Warrnambool police.
Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh said sadly our national day and Valentine’s Day were the worst for violence and family violence.
He said police would not tolerate any forms of violence, and family violence would continue to be treated for the crime that it was.
“The cycle of family violence shows that children who witness or are subjected to family violence grow up to repeat that behaviour,” he said.
“Our focus is on supporting and protecting the victims.
“This is part of our focus to reduce crime overall and break the cycle.”
Family violence includes physical abuse, sexual assault, psychological abuse and controlling behaviour.
Senior Sergeant Keogh said people needed to have the confidence to report family violence and get help.
“Don’t hide behind it,” he said. “If you’re subject to family violence come and get help.
“The sooner you do, the better it can be for both parties.”
Senior Sergeant Keogh said in the past three years there had been an increase in family violence reports to police and Warrnambool was a leading community in Victoria in terms of reporting incidents. Victoria Police figures show that in the Warrnambool area during the 2011-12 financial year, there were 396 reports of family violence. Children present in 185 of those incidents.
In the 2010-11 financial year, there were 287 reports and children were present in 114.
n Anyone experiencing family violence should call Emma House on 5561 1934, the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service on 1800 015 188 or if in immediate danger call the police on 000
Men concerned about their behaviour can contact the men’s referral service on 1800 065 973.