THE establishment of specialised units within Victoria Police has led to a much greater focus on handling allegations of sex offences.
Warrnambool sexual offences and child abuse investigation team (SOCIT) Commander Detective Sergeant Chris Asenjo said there was a direct link between long-term family violence and sexual violence.
“Children exposed to long-term family violence, or other trauma, may demonstrate sexualised behaviour and thus may sexually offend,” he said.
“Children that are sexually assaulted by family members are more likely to sexually offend as they grow older. Physical and sexual family violence often leads to mental health, drug/alcohol and employment issues.
“People subjected to this behaviour become withdrawn, lose trust in people and struggle to seek help.”
Detective Sergeant Asenjo said SOCIT consisted of members with specialist training in complex sexual crime and child abuse.
“We are committed to assisting victims and their families and often refer people to other agencies including South West CASA, Emma House, DHS etc,” he said.
“SOCIT investigators no longer just investigate crimes. We investigate the relationships that the crimes are committed within to get a greater understanding of the offending and the drivers behind it.”