Family violence incidents have spiked in parts of the south-west, concerning new data reveals.
Crime Statistics Agency figures for the year ending December 31 last year show family violence incidents soared by 25 per cent in Glenelg shire, 15 per cent in Colac-Otway and six per cent in Moyne.
Across the state, incidents increased 6.6 per cent in the last 12 months to the highest on record, 84,550 incidents.
Victoria Police western region division two family violence investigation manager Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh said the data showed the public had greater confidence in reporting incidents of that nature to police.
He said a new training officer was working with police in Glenelg Shire to understand reporting requirements.
"We've seen some really good work over in Glenelg with new members being trained to respond to family violence in a way that has built up the community's confidence to make a report," he said.
"That is very gratifying because our aim is to really enable the community to be confident to come to police and report family violence incidents."
Senior Sergeant Keogh said in the past six months detectives had also focused on historic family violence offending.
"Our detectives are now exploring all areas of family violence and we've seen some incidents dating back 25 to 30 years that include constant controlling behaviours, especially around financial issues," he said.
"A lot of history wasn't looked at prior to our specialised family violence unit. We are now taking a whole range of offences back as far as we can."
In Warrnambool family violence incidents dropped 14 per cent to 609 incidents.
That downward trend was also seen in Corangamite with a two per cent drop, and Southern Grampians which was down seven per cent.
Senior Sergeant Keogh said Warrnambool detectives had compiled over 100 briefs of evidence in the past 12 months, mainly targeting recidivist offenders.
"The majority of those repeat offenders have since been locked up, hence the decrease in further offending," he said.
Across the south-west women were the most affected by family violence.
Victims aged between 25 and 34 were most likely to be the victims in Warrnambool and Corangamite shires.
In Moyne, Glenelg and Colac-Otway shires the majority of victims were aged between 35 and 44 and in Southern Grampians they were aged 18 to 24.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call triple zero.
- Emma House is a Warrnambool-based not-for-profit service and can be contacted through 1800 EMMADV (1800 366238) or visit emmahouse.org.au/
- Safe Steps for women after hours service is available through 188 015 188.
- Brophy Family and Youth Services can be contacted on 1300 BROPHY or 03 5561 8888.
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