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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Neighbours can call help if you can not

Victoria Police family violence adviser Sergeant Margaret Singe has plenty of tips to help victims of domestic violence keep themselves safe.

ELAINE COONEY March 12, 2014 4:05am

When victims of domestic violence ask the police for assistance, it is Victoria Police’s family violence adviser Sergeant Margaret Singe’s place to check everything is done correctly and the victim is safe.

She said reported cases of family violence in the Campaspe region rose from 277 in 2011 to 305 in 2012 and 392 last year.

Sgt Singe said media campaigns highlighting the issue and people feeling more comfortable reporting domestic violence were the main reasons for the higher numbers.

She sees everything from verbal assaults, pushing and shoving, minor assaults and serious assaults.

Her advice to victims is to contact police or Bendigo’s Centre for Non-Violence as soon as possible to get the appropriate help.

She said neighbours of violent household usually knew what was happening.

Sgt Singe said while it may be a difficult subject to discuss with friends, she advised victims of domestic violence to share their fears with neighbours.

She said it was a good idea to ask neighbours to call the police if they heard any trouble.

‘‘Quite often family violence victims are not able to get to the phone to ring,’’ she said.

She said victims did not need to fear making a police report and being sent back to the same home as the perpetrator.

Sgt Singe said when making exclusion orders police monitored the level of fear the victim displayed rather than investigating for solid proof of violence.

She said physical violence did not need to occur to take out intervention orders.

Fear due to verbal threats was also a valid reason for the orders.

Sgt Singe it was easier to remove the perpetrator rather than the victim and children.

When it came to ensuring a child’s safety, she said a child could be included on the intervention order and offered immediate protection.

She said this could be done at any time of the day or night.

Sgt Singe advised victims to call 000 if they were in immediate danger.

Read the full feature in this week’s Campaspe News.

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