Victoria Police is asking the community to look out for one another as calls for help with family violence are expected to peak during the holiday period.
Assistant Commissioner of Family Violence Command, Dean McWhirter said police typically see an increase of family violence incidents as the end of year approaches.
“While the end of the year is a great time to get together and celebrate with family, police certainly see an increase in trauma that happens during the festive season,” AC McWhirter said.
“The latest statistics show that police responded to 83,775 family violence incidents in a 12-month period, that’s one call for help every six minutes.
“Over the past five years, December and January have consistently seen the highest number of family violence reports compared to the rest of the year.”
In 2018-19 police responded to an average of 227 family violence incidents every day. This figure jumps by 11 per cent in December and January to just over 250 incidents.
“These crimes are unacceptable at any time of the year,” AC Dean McWhirter said.
“People are being harmed by someone they love or trust. Whether that’s physical, emotional or psychological – all forms of family violence are unacceptable.
“Victoria Police remains committed to continue raising awareness of family violence, but we all have a role to play to recognise and challenge the attitudes that create a culture where violence against women and children is trivialised.
“We are asking the community to reflect on their own behaviour. Those who recognise that some of their behaviours constitute family violence, we urge you to seek support.
“This is not something we should be saying every year. Everyone has a right to live free from violence. We are calling on the community to stamp out the abuse and terror that is occurring where we are supposed to feel safest – in our own homes.”
Victoria Police will today release a video asking the community to work together to stop family violence.
If anyone is concerned about their safety or feel that they are at risk in their family circumstances, support is available through Safe Steps, Victoria’s 24/7 family violence support service, by calling 1800 015 188 or 1800 RESPECT.