Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Family violence in Campaspe on the rise

In Campaspe region reports of family violence increased by more than 30 per cent in 2013.

January 29, 2014 4:28am

Reports of family violence in the Campaspe region increased more than 30 per cent last year.

Last year, Campaspe Area police officers recorded 453 incidents, compared to 346 in 2012.

In November alone 19 cases of family violence were recorded at Kyabram Police Station out of a total of 43 crime reports.

Senior Sergeant Peter Wardell from Kyabram police said sadly most reports of family violence were received after an incident had occurred.

‘‘Unfortunately, by the time police get a call and get involved, it is often too late to reconcile the situation,’’ he said.

‘‘If people were to inform us when they are concerned an incident may be likely to happen, and before something does actually happen, we can try to defuse the situation and refer them to the appropriate people for counselling.’’

Sen Sgt Wardell said once police became involved, there were fewer repeat incidents.

‘‘We try to resolve the issue first time and of those 453 cases recorded last year only 41 involved people previously involved in family violence incidents,’’ he said.

More than 25 per cent of cases involved people aged from 31 to 40 and three times as many women compared to men are the victims, but statistics show people of all ages and social backgrounds may become either the victims or perpetrators.

Sen Sgt Wardell said with each case involving at least two people, many encompassing whole families and some reaching extended family groups, the percentage of the population family violence was affecting was alarming.

‘‘There are often underlying reasons behind incidents of family violence such as financial problems, work stresses or addictions,’’ he said.

‘‘People need to take control of their lives and they should seek help sooner not later. There is better support available now than ever before.’’

Family violence reports take up a substantial amount of police time, with most cases requiring at least four hours’ work and some taking several days to process.

‘‘We’re here to help anyone and provide protection whether it’s inside or outside the home. People have a right to feel safe wherever they are,’’ Sen Sgt Wardell said.

‘‘There used to be a perception of what went on behind closed doors stayed there but we encourage anyone to come forward and have confidence police will take action to stop the violence and resolve the issues.’’

If you have experienced an incident of family violence, or are concerned that one may occur, for emergencies phone 000 or to seek help with emergency accommodation, phone 1800825955.

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