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Victoria’s Christmas violence shame: Family abuse surges, police plea for peace


Police have launched a new campaign in a bid to stop Victoria’s annual surge in domestic abuse.

The rate of family violence reports increases by 11 per cent in December and January.

In 2018-19 police responded to an average of 227 family violence incidents per day.

In December and January that figure increases to 250 incidents every day

Read that again. Every day.

To combat the Christmas and New Year surge, police have launched a video campaign highlighting the surge.

“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,” Assistant Commissioner of Family Violence Command, 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.

“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.”

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.